Case Studies 2018-01-25T18:16:30+00:00

Client Case Studies

Inspiring Net-Zero Buildings

Solar Design Associates (SDA) is North America’s oldest, largest, and most respected building design firm dedicated to the elegant integration of solar power in homes and buildings.

Founded by noted solar advocate, designer and author, Steven J. Strong, SDA promotes renewable energy and sustainable design by providing design, engineering, construction management, and technical support services to architects, electric utilities, private clients, and developers.

In the spring of 1999, TIME magazine named Steven an environmental “Hero for the Planet.” In the spring of 2001, the American Solar Energy Society presented him with its Charles Greeley Abbot Award – the Society’s highest honor, for outstanding achievement in the advancement of solar energy.

a project by Solar Design Associates

BIPV project by Solar Design Associates

Articles about Mr. Strong and his work have appeared in over 100 publications including TIME Magazine, Architecture, Business Week, Architectural Record, Environmental Design and Construction, IEEE Spectrum, World Architecture, Building Design and Construction, Popular Science, Wired, and New Age and on television and in energy and environmental documentaries.

High Tech Strategies Inc. has been a collaborating partner with SDA for over 20 years, working to advance the awareness and adoption of renewable energy and building-integrated photovoltaics throughout the world.

BIPV project by Solar Design Associates

BIPV design project at Georgia Tech

Market acceleration projects with SDA have included: early adopter and visionary outreach, education-based communications and market expansion strategy development.

Mainstream Adoption of Solar Power

Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is unparalleled in its commitment to renewable energy — particularly solar — as well as comprehensive energy efficiency and load management programs.

Through its dedication to the development of solar energy as a business strategy, and in collaboration with a number of research and marketing organizations SMUD has implemented a range of solar technologies to procure resources, to build local expertise and product availability, to educate Sacramento’s citizens, to support peak power generation, and fundamentally to stimulate an important market transformation whereby solar technologies become commercially viable.

SMUD PV Pioneer Program

Neighborhood solar installations in Sacramento, CA

High Tech Strategies was selected as a special advisor and consultant to the Supervisor of Distributed Technologies at Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). In this assignment we provided both design and implementation of a multi-phase customer research program and also a comprehensive assessment of SMUD’s PV Pioneer Program. High Tech Strategies also developed the strategy and framework needed to “Cross the Chasm” into mainstream adoption of residential solar power.

SMUD’s pioneering work in solar power has provided a roadmap to help utilities navigate the transition to a clean energy future.  The solar-adoption techniques used by SMUD were documented in a paper presented at the American Solar Energy Society which is available here:

Real-World Energy Education

The Northwest Energy Education Institute (NWEEI) is a non-profit provider of energy efficiency training and education. With funding from the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, NWEEI developed an advanced certification program for energy managers, called EMC.

NWEEI’s unique “hands-on” certification program is designed to allow energy management personnel to rapidly learn and implement energy-saving techniques, providing energy-cost savings for schools, government agencies, and commercial building owners. The Energy Management Certification (EMC) program combines classroom instruction with on-the-job project implementation, and teaches energy managers to quickly identify areas of potential savings and to maximize energy efficiency throughout a building, facility, plant or campus. To earn certification you are required to apply energy efficiency principles and then measure the outcomes.

NWEEI energy management certification

Energy Management Certification students practice hands-on energy efficiency

To ensure the success of this innovative new program, High Tech Strategies provided market research, planning, strategy development and marketing services. This included: analysis of commercial, industrial and government markets; program definition and positioning; media relations; event promotion; and development of marketing programs and materials.

The EMC program helps industry and government meet the urgent need to reduce energy consumption. Especially notable is NWEEI’s application of the “energy use index,” an indicator of how much energy is used over each square foot of a building or structure. This index leads the energy management professional to projects that offer the greatest cost savings or return on investment.

NEEI’s target audience for the certification program includes engineers, technicians, architects, facility, property, maintenance and energy managers, administrators, and representatives of utilities, governments and schools–anyone with “some need to have some energy efficiency understanding” in their professional lives,  who sees increasing demand for energy management certification.

Managing Cadmium in Wastewater

Personnel at the City of Wooster (OH) Water Pollution Control Plant detected high levels of cadmium (50-70 ppm) in their sewage sludge, yet were unable to identify wastewater discharges that accounted for this condition. In this project, we studied the cadmium ion content within industrial wastewater discharges and various sewage sludges to explain the concentrating effect of the aerobic biological treatment process.

quantitative analytical research

Analysis of cadmium ion concentrations in wastewater

What does this have to do with the adoption of sustainable innovations?  Absolutely nothing!

This case study illustrates our technical expertise and comfort with highly technical innovations. In this project we solved a heavy-metals accumulation problem for the City of Wooster (Ohio) by studying Cadmium ion concentrations using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AA).

Water Treatment Optimization

Ringlace material was developed in Japan in the 1980’s and consists of a rope like material of high surface area and a chemical composition conducive to bacterial attachment and growth. Biomass densities on the ringlace material approximate that found on trickling filter media or other high rate attached growth systems.

Ringlace systems are widely used in Japan and have recently been used extensively in the eastern US to upgrade municipal activated sludge plants to provide nitrification.

Ringlace is a flexible-strand medium formed as a linear laced material to support attached biomass. The medium can be attached to various frames to fit within specific aeration basin dimensions. Ringlace biomedium was developed in Japan in the 1970s and became available in the United States in 1990. Ringlace Products, Inc., has been the exclusive distributor for the Americas since 1992. They have over 400 Ringlace installations worldwide.

Wastewater Treatment

Typical wastewater treatment facility

High Tech Strategies acted as strategy consultants for Ringlace Products Inc. and developed a market expansion strategy for the U.S.