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Jennifer Lawrence

Dec 22, 2014
04:13

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Thanks again! Looks great. The DPW 5 year streets and sidewalks plan in our resources section outlines the next five years of priority streets for reconstruction. It would help us if you could look through that, see which streets may fit in here, and then look to see if there are clumps of houses, businesses that you feel would fit into such a program. Perhaps you could propose a pilot neighborhood? Thanks! - Jen

George Mokray

Jan 8, 2015
10:53

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District heating could also possibly become seasonal or annual heat (and cool) store. Old technologies like root cellars and below frostline geothermal could allow UHI to become an energy resource for HVAC at least. On a hot day last summer, I was walking around Cambridgeport and Riverside and thinking about heat wave emergencies. Could the island of trees between River and Western Avenue become a shade refuge? What about using awnings and screens to create stack effects? Could it work on the facade of the apartment building on Franklin and Soden or the back of the Senior Center and YMCA? Can we use the heat island effect to produce a cooling effect if we just kinda put a chimney (or Venturi) around it? And with a district heat distribution system that acts as a long-term store.... Things could get interesting.

Quinton Zondervan

Jan 9, 2015
10:21

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Thanks Jen, I did not find the 5 year plan on the resource page, but I did find it at the DPW website including this interactive map: http://www.cambridgema.gov/theworks/ourservices/engineering/weeklyconstructionhighlights/constructioninteractivemap.aspx As I 'm most familiar with East Cambridge I focussed in on the proposed repaving of Fulkerson and Thorndike Str., which, according to slide 16 on this presentation is scheduled for FY15: http://www.cambridgema.gov/~/media/Files/publicworksdepartment/Engineering/Five%20Year%20Plan%20Updated%20May%202014.ashx Fulkerson/Thorndike Str. has several advantages as a potential pilot project, including: 1. High density. Many residences and apartment buildings abut these streets, making it a potentially optimal location for attracting district geothermal customers. 2. Cambridge Str. business district. There are many businesses located on nearby Cambridge street, creating the potential for some of those businesses to choose to participate in district geothermal. This would require connecting to their location, but that should not be terribly difficult given the close proximity. 3. Elevation. Thorndike street is a relatively elevated area, potentially creating some protection from groundwater and other issues. 4. Community centers. Several community centers are nearby, including the Kennedy Longfellow school (abuts Fulkerson Str.), the city's School Administration building (on Thorndike Str.), the O'Connell public library branch (also on Thorndike Str.), creating opportunities for the city itself to take advantage of the Geothermal system and obtain energy cost savings in its operations.

Quinton Zondervan

Jan 9, 2015
10:46

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Thanks George, somebody suggested yesterday that we could also use the Charles river as a potential heat sink. Or the Boston harbor. Some towns on the great lakes are already doing this: http://thegreatlakescenturyblog.som.com/2013/07/great-lakes-great-people-dennis-fotinos/ http://www.nrel.gov/tech_deployment/climate_neutral/deep_water_cooling.html

Climate Colab

Feb 18, 2015
12:08

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Congratulations on making it to the Semi-Finals for the Urban Heat Island Effect contest. Please take into consideration the comments left by the judges and do please incorporate that feedback into your final proposal. We would also like to see a bit more detail on the impact locally. How will this be feasible in Cambridge and what are the barriers needed to overcome here? We look forward to seeing your ideas finalized in the next iteration!

Jennifer Lawrence

Feb 18, 2015
11:47

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Dear Quinton: The CoLab had a typo in their previous message to you. The proposal revision period closes on March 1st, NOT the 31st. Below are your proposal's comments from the judging team. Thank you for participating! Judge 1: This is an extremely well-developed and interesting proposal. I have a few detail questions that might help us flesh this out a bit. 1. Can you quantify the extent to which reducing waste heat from air conditioners, etc. would reduce the heat island effect? Waste heat is clearly a contributor to heat islands, but generally not the biggest one. The other co-benefits may justify the systems anyway, but some rough estimates on the impact would be very helpful if possible. 2. I like that you're thinking of PACE as a potential financing mechanism - does Cambridge currently run a PACE program or would one need to be established? Also, how do you envision using PACE to pay for ongoing maintenance, as opposed to a one-time construction/installation cost? Thank you! I think this has a lot of potential. Judge 2: This is one of the stronger proposals I have read. The impacts are potentially transformative and I appreciate both the references to analogous/prior projects as well as the particular considerations and suggestions for dealing with the foibles and challenges of a city like Cambridge with old buildings and infrastructures, diverse economics, and small parcels of land. Further, the co-benefits of this approach as a long-term mitigation and adaptation strategy targeted at resilience are well-described and thoughtfully presented. I want to see this happen! I do think you may be overestimating the UHI impacts of waste heat from air conditioning units somewhat, but have to admit it's something I am now intrigued to explore more in terms of quantitative impacts - so thanks for that! One thing I'd like to see described in more details is how this would be communicated to local residents, because it's likely to cause some major headaches in the short run (just as other efforts in the city to address climate vulnerabilities will and are).

Michael Hayes

Feb 25, 2015
09:36

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Hello Quinton, Geothermal and Aquathermal are both available through the water system...if...the lake is aggressively cooled. If cold water is delivered through the water pipes, the property owner can use the thermal inertia in a number of useful ways. If we can build up thermal inertia during the winter or through bio-energy inputs during the summer, the lake can become available as a city wide sink (one aspect of the CHIP proposal). The river has great potential yet the regulatory burden when working with waterways is substantial. However, I would like to see the City use that important asset as, once it is in play, we may be able to expand the mission to include water filtration to support littoral health. You mentioned using the harbor as a heat sink (which is supportable). However, you may also want to take a look at the airport. The large open areas that the airport offers can be useful both as a heat sink and as an underground bio-fuel production tank farm. Obviously, the airport will want access to the fuel and thus a straight barter, land for bio-fuel, may be realistic. Best regards, Michael

Quinton Zondervan

Feb 27, 2015
01:28

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Response to judge1: 1. (Will add to main document as well). This study: https://asunews.asu.edu/20140514-ac-nighttime-temps indicates a 1 degree C additional heating from air conditioning waste heat at night! Especially important is that this causes a positive feedback loop: the warmer temperature requires more air condition which further raises the temperature, etc. This results in addition electricity demand, of course: "With regard to economic impacts, it is estimated for the Phoenix metropolitan area that successfully reducing the urban heat island temperature with this strategy would result in at least 1200-1300 MWh of direct energy savings per day alone." 2. PACE legislation is in process in the state house at the moment to add commercial projects to be eligible for PACE financing, and also to centralize the bonding process so each municipality would not have to do all the heavy lifting for their own PACE program. Unfortunately the legislation did not get enacted in the last session, but it almost did so chances are good it will make it this time: http://www.usgbcma.org/PACEfinancing. Cambridge has not implemented a PACE program to my knowledge (nor has any other municipality in the state as far as I know), but Cambridge is very supportive of the new legislation and would likely implement a program under the new provisions should they become law: http://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/Projects/Climate/~/media/81DB123502BB48738054BE4D8638FEDC.ashx

Quinton Zondervan

Feb 27, 2015
02:40

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Response to judge 2: I've quantified the UHI contribution of waste heat from air condition above, thanks for asking :-) I don't believe this would be a major hassle for city residents because it would be done only on streets that are to be re-paved anyway. It might add a little bit of time to the road re-construction, but compared to sewer separation this should be a breeze :-)

Michael Hayes

Feb 27, 2015
02:32

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Quinton, a few last thoughts on the regional geothermal concept et. al., 1) the sewage system is a good source of geothermal energy. Geothermal Heat Pump System Taps Sewage Instead of Bedrock http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/geothermal-system-taps-sewage-instead-bedrock.html In building a district geothermal system, a sewage heat pump system upgrade may be worth the cost. The CHIP proposal focused specifically upon the UHI set of problems (summer issues) yet year round thermal demands can be addressed through reasonable modification of the water system which can be done without the cost of re-engineering/re-building the roads. 2)On the other hand, if the road system can be rethought->rebuilt, a number of urban issues can be addressed at one time. The Governor's Development Cabinet would be my first target for gaining support for a district wide rethink of energy/water/sewage/transport etc. Clearly, the built-up urban areas are struggling with what is, in essence, late 19th/early 20th century technology in a complex 21st century demand matrix. Starting with a blank sheet and designing a new 'multiplexed utility/transport' grid system, with today's leading edge sustainability knowledge and advanced equipment, is, in the long run, probably the most economically and environmentally sound solution to many of the infrastructure problems that we face. Such an approach would truly be revolutionary....for the US. Cambridge may be the community which sparks such a US revolution in urban sustainability. Let's hope so. Michael

Michael Hayes

Feb 28, 2015
03:38

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Quinton, On the AC waste heat issue, please read below; http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2010JAMC2538.1 A Study of the Urban Boundary Layer Using Different Urban Parameterizations and High-Resolution Urban Canopy Parameters with WRF FRANCISCO SALAMANCA AND ALBERTO MARTILLI Research Center for Energy, Environment and Technology (CIEMAT), Madrid, Spain Abstract: "During the night, this anthropogenic heat was responsible for an increase in the air temperature of up to 2C in the densest urban areas,". page 1125 "In agreement with other studies (Ohashi et al. 2007), the waste heat increased the air temperature by 0.58–2C depending on the location inside the city and the day considered (meteorological conditions)". If we also take a look at the energy cost of this phenomena, factored out over the population, the cost of alternative cooling means and methods starts to come into focus as a possible utility level option. And, providing state-of-the-art alternative cooling means for buildings, at both the internal and external spatial dimensions, may be worth consideration by the City government. The use of thermal inertia, either through geo/aquathermal and or cold water misting (both options also found in the CHIP proposal), may possibly be the most direct path to mitigating the worst of the peak UHI effects. However, we can go even further. We also have a possible additional tool in mitigating this waste heat issue. In that, if a simple Stirling engine is mated to existing medium to large AC units, using the waste heat and cooled water from geo/aquathermal/cold water misting etc., the Stirling engine can energize a Emissive Energy Harvester (EEH) and transmit a majority of the waste energy into space. Simply "beam it up, Scotty"!! http://sjbyrnes.com/pub_PNAS_2014.pdf Or, the Sterling's energy output can be used to energize secondary space coolers or the converted energy can simply be stored in onsite Organic Flow Battery (OFB) systems for later use. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v505/n7482/full/nature12909.html I hope the above shows that we currently have a wide range of truly advanced options to use and that they offer us a high degree of flexibility in mitigating the UHI. Michael

Laur Hesse Fisher

Mar 4, 2015
09:32

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Dear proposal authors: The Finalist selection phase has been extended so Judges could finalize their comments. The Fellow team will be in touch with more details as they arise. Thank you for your patience and understanding. ~~ Laur Climate CoLab Project Manager

Climate Colab

Mar 6, 2015
12:53

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Hi Quinton: Thank you for submitting this well-thought out proposal. While we think it has merit, specifically surrounding the equity piece of your idea, we feel that another of your proposals is more innovative, realistic and measurable. Thank you again and good luck in the finals! Sincerely, Jen
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