Teal Farm - Huntington Vermont
Teal Farm Design
energy barn
Energy Barn with 15kw solar photovoltaic array.

Design Ideals

At LivingFuture's Teal Farm, we have designed, engineered, and partially completed
an energy system that demonstrates one of our orienting convictions: that all human enterprise--including energy-production--can ultimately amplify the health of living systems.

The Teal Farm energy system has been designed to produce clean heat and electricity indefinitely, and to dynamically adapt to unpredictable future climatic conditions, including the next century of global warming.

Our engineered design combines multiple renewable sources and integrates them in a refined control system. This design hints at what future energy production might look like: interlaced, ‘smart microgrids’ that integrate multiple, clean renewable sources over larger regions, amplify efficiencies and stability, and are far less expensive over time.

The entire farm also functions fully with conventional grid power and conventional
heating oil if desired.


System Features

The Teal Farm energy system design reflects and captures the abundant natural resources in the Huntington River Watershed. By patterning our system on the natural flows of sun and materials, our system can establish a new prototype for how electricity and heat are created and integrated.

The design combines sun, wind, water, wood, batteries, and biodiesel (back-up)
to meet—and ultimately exceed—our electricity and heating needs. The completed
system can run a ten-acre permaculture orchard (including food processing and storage), can electrify and eventually heat the Farm's four buildings, two which were recently constructed to the highest standards of living-systems design (20,000 sq. ft. of conditioned space), and, in time, can support plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles
for staff and Farm use.

We engineered this very ideal system using the following guidelines: rely on present-day solar energy (this includes wind, as solar radiation creates wind currents); anticipate future conditions (including climate change, energy costs and availability) integrate renewable technologies to capture abundance and magnify resilience; invent and deploy sophisticated control technologies to work with the complexity of the energy eco-system; adapt buildings to maximize efficiency, and carefully balance energy use with energy generation. These guidelines can be adapted to many different locations and scales.
While experimental, we hope to show that such a micro-system can be implemented on
a larger, more distributed scale, integrating multiple and varied sources of generation (individual households) into one community-wide adaptive system.

Teal Farm

Creative Data Expression

An essential aspect of the Teal Farm project involves the artistic, kinesthetic, practical, scientific, and transformational representation of its energy system via digital media. A preliminary design has been completed (with some infrastructure installed) that reflects the energy use of the system. When complete, the energy dashboard will reveal the renewable systems themselves and illustrate how they work to a wide audience of
on-site and virtual visitors. It will also help individuals who work at Teal Farm adjust
their behavior in response to immediate information, i.e., is there enough energy to do
a particular task? More generally, our virtual presentation of data will serve as a gateway for others to learn and partake in transformative and life-positive environments that
link human action with global impact.