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Space Age Septic Tank Will Water Your Lawn

Michael Kanellos: October 26, 2008, 3:49 PM
Venus. The goddess of love. And wastewater treatment. Biokube, a Danish company, is going to bring the BioKube Venus to California. The Venus is an efficient septic system that cleans your household wastewater and sewage to such a degree that the water -- after treatment -- can be used on the lawn. Denmark is a center for water technologies. "The average American home sprays around 15,000 gallons of water a year on their lawns," said Patrick O'Regan, head of the U.S. Business Development Center for BioKube. "This will more than take care of that." The Venus effectively works by cleaning the water to a much higher degree than ordinary septic systems. In ordinary systems, solids are settled out via gravity. The remaining water then enters a tank with bacteria to clean it. After that, it gets released into a leaching field, where bacteria in the soil cleans it further. In the Venus, the water passes through several bioblocks, or membranes housing bacteria. Further purification in soil isn't needed at that point, he said. The Venus can handle around 7.5 liters every 15 minutes, he said. The tank stands around six feet tall and is around four feet in diameter. Why California? The state has and will continue to tighten up its regulations on these things. Approximately 1.2 million septic systems in the state will need to be unplugged and/or renovated to comply with modern regulations. The state is also facing more challenges with water supply and water consumption. The average American home, by the way, uses 400 gallons a day.

Greentech Innovations: Online Solar Fulfillment Targets Installation Cost and Marketing Barriers

Roger Nauth: October 26, 2008, 2:44 PM
Earlier this month, we heard some of what Sungevity is doing from president and CXO Danny Kennedy and my colleague senior analyst Michael Kanellos posted a blog about that conversation called Sungevity Launches Plan to Cut Paper Work in Solar Rebates. I chatted again this week with Kennedy in preparation for the Greentech Software Innovations panel in which he'll be participating at our Greentech Innovations conference on November 17 and 18 in New York City. For those of you who don't know about Sungevity's offering, here's a review and some more insight from the conversation this week. After learning about solar's benefits on Sungevity's Website, consumers plug in their address and Sungevity walks them through a six-step process to "go solar." As part of that process, the company performs a remote satellite-assisted roof analysis to determine the home's potential for solar, including helping the customer determine the best solar system to order. Most customers don't even need a site visit, often saving them up to 10 percent on the total system installation cost and even as much as 80 percent of the on-site estimates. According to Kennedy, Sungevity's solution is on average 10 percent cheaper than the average installed price per watt in California. California publishes all the systems installed under the solar rebate program. A self-proclaimed advocate, Kennedy is proud that Sungevity is "building a brand and a company that people can trust. We don't promote the biggest system." He adds that you can go 100 percent solar or opt for smaller kits from Sungevity. He says the company will sometimes sell a smaller system to meet the needs of the customer. Then, Sungevity can later go back to the customer with the trust needed to perform other energy management services, an area in which Kennedy said the company may play in a couple of years. From a marketing perspective, Sungevity basks in the glory of being able to size rooftops without customers' permission and then focus the rays of direct marketing campaigns. Being able to market directly to potential customers this way is transformative, says Kennedy, who also mentioned the company's in-house online CRM system, which they plan on using extensively for upsell opportunities. At our Greentech Innovations conference in November, Sungevity will announce its business-to-business offering, giving a sneak peak at the event.