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Hilton Installs Green Roof, CHP Systems

The Hilton New York – Manhattan’s largest hotel – has installed a green roof and cogeneration system.

The 16,000-square-foot green roof system was installed by Xero Flor America and is located on the hotel’s fifth floor rooftop setback.

The green roof supports local farming and plays host to locally grown plants harvested from an upstate New York farm, Hilton says. The foliage and roots of those plants naturally absorb airborne pollutants, which in turn prevents carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. Additionally, the vegetated rooftop deflects solar radiation and reduces the thermal load, reducing the energy previously expended in cooling the property.

Also situated on the hotel’s fifth floor rooftop setback is the 1.75 MW combined heat and power system that Hilton expects to provide 50 percent of the hotel’s electrical power and over 40 percent of its steam consumption for heating and hot water requirements. It should reduce the hotel’s carbon footprint by 30 percent – eliminating around 10,000 metric tons of carbon emissions per year. Hilton New York consumes over 23 million kWh of electricity per year.

The cogeneration system will consist of seven natural gas-fired, 250 kW energy modules manufactured by California-based SDP Energy, and is expected to be fully operational by summer 2012.

In recognition of its fuel cell, which also sits atop the building’s fifth floor roof, the Hilton New York was awarded the 2008-2009 Environmental Recognition Program “Green Street” Award by the Avenue of the Americas Association.

In related news, Hilton’s Doubletree Dunblane Hydro hotel in Scotland will install a CHP system under an agreement with EuroSite Power.

Under the terms of the 30-year, £4.1 million ($6.5 million) agreement with hotel owner the Ability Group, EuroSite Power will install and operate a CHP system producing up to 200 kW of power or about 1.63 MWh of energy per year. The Ability Group will receive a discount on the energy produced by the CHP system and expects to reduce its emissions by up to 206 tons of carbon dioxide each year, which will also reduce its Carbon Reduction Commitment tax. The CRC is a mandatory scheme aimed at improving energy efficiency and cutting emissions in large public and private sector organizations in the U.K.

The system will produce electricity, heating and domestic hot water for both Dunblane Hydro’s health and fitness center and main hotel building, at a price lower than the Ability Group’s current and future energy suppliers, according to EuroSite Power. The hotel will pay only for the energy used and will avoid all capital, installation and operating costs. EuroSite Power will also handle all service, maintenance and repair.

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5 thoughts on “Hilton Installs Green Roof, CHP Systems

  1. “The foliage and roots of those plants naturally absorb airborne pollutants, which in turn prevents carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.” A bit misleading…they absorb CO2 and convert it into oxygen and that makes the plants grow…CO2 is plant food, not a pollutant.

  2. Water is also a plant need – but too much of it (i.e. flooding) can cause environmental damage. Soil nitrogen and phosphorus are also plant nutrients – but too much can spoil the soil PH and cause other environmental harm. Likewise, CO2 is a plant food – but too much of it can lead to environmental harm via global climate change.

  3. if plants grow faster with higher levels of co2 and plants convert it into oxygen in greater volume the more they grow doesnt it make sense that earth will balance itself?

  4. @Pa – No, it doesn’t; at least not in the way you are probably thinking. True, many (not all) plants do grow faster with greater CO2 concentration – but only up to a point. In addition, other processes are also at work – including climate shifts that may sometimes favor, but will in other cases disfavor; plant growth in a particular region.

    But the main problem is that the process of climate change overwhelms the capacity for plants to take up excess CO2. The climate changes faster, and to a greater degree, than plants (or any other natural CO2 removal processes) can compensate for.

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