Alternative Energy

Solar Power News

The latest solar power news from our solar energy and photovoltaic news sources.

Nov 17, 2018

Solar Energy

How to decode confusing labels on common household cleaners

Nov 16, 2018: Have you ever aimed some cleaning spray at your kitchen countertops and wondered what is actually inside the bottle? With all of the confusing chemicals and terms listed on product labels, it can be hard to know what is inside the cleaning products we bring into our homes. “People are surprised to find that dozens of toxic chemicals are in the [conventional] household products we use every day and go almost totally unmonitored and unregulated by our government,” says Alan Greene, MD, clinical...

An old warehouse is remade into a stylish hotel with a copper chevron crown

Nov 16, 2018: An 80-year-old warehouse has been elegantly remade into the chic Paramount House Hotel, a boutique property that champions sustainable practices in more ways than one. Designed by Melbourne-based Breathe Architecture, the adaptive reuse project in Surry Hills, Sydney, Australia houses 29 rooms, each unique, as well as a sun-soaked lobby that weaves original architectural features together with contemporary elements. In addition to the sensitive renovation of the historic building, the architects...

5 tips for beautiful, sustainable Thanksgiving decor

Nov 16, 2018: November marks the season of Thanksgiving. With Halloween decor packed up and Christmas trimmings still in totes, it’s time to focus on unveiling the essence of Thanksgiving in your home. Aisles of decor line the store shelves, but many of those options contribute to environmental issues. By making some conscientious decisions you can reduce transport emissions, eliminate plastic consumption and give used items new life while giving your home the holiday flair you invision. While pulling together...

A dull, 26-year-old Airstream becomes a bright, cozy home on wheels

Nov 16, 2018: Related: A 1972 Airstream becomes a bright, 198-square-foot home for a family of four + Augustine the Airstream Via Dwell Augustine the Airstream, Augustine Airstream renovation, Nate and Taylor Lavender…

The Nogal House saves energy with smart site-specific design

Nov 15, 2018: Mexican architecture practice BGP Arquitectura recently completed the Nogal House, a contemporary dwelling in San Pedro Garza García, Mexico that’s shaped by its environment in more ways than one. Named Nogal after the existing type of walnut trees on site, the building features a curved and asymmetrical layout informed by the locations of the trees and site preservation goals. The residence also adopts passive solar principles to minimize its energy footprint and uses insulated double glazing...

Spain launches plan for 100% renewable electricity by 2050

Nov 15, 2018: Spain’s social democratic government has launched an ambitious plan to change the country’s electricity system by 2050. In an effort to completely decarbonize their economy, Spain will be switching their entire electricity system to renewable sources over the next thirty years with a goal of slashing their greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent compared to 1990 levels. This is part of Spain’s draft climate change and energy transition law, and the government is committing to installing a...

Is your Thanksgiving turkey putting your family's health at risk?

Nov 15, 2018: With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many of us are planning meals centered around a turkey. But, a new report from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and their partners at the Food Animal Concerns Trust says that you could be putting your family’s health at risk because of how American meats are produced. Just last week, NBC News reported that there was an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella that is linked to raw turkey, and it is still spreading. So far, the outbreak...

12 plant-based recipes for a vegan or vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner

Nov 15, 2018: For many people, Thanksgiving dinner is not complete without a turkey on the table. But, with diet trends turning to vegetarian and vegan, people are starting to break away from the traditional turkey dinner because of health, animal welfare, or environmental reasons. Luckily, there are amazing plant-based dishes that you can make to create a mouth-watering Thanksgiving feast, making it easier than ever to skip the turkey. Here are some ideas for main dishes that will replace the turkey on your...

The best green deals for Black Friday 2018

Nov 14, 2018: ‘Tis the season for Black Friday shopping, but here at Inhabitat we are determined to turn this year’s shopping event green. While some people might grumble about Black Friday, we think it is the perfect opportunity to save money on sustainable items, especially appliances, for your home. It’s also a great time to stock up on eco-friendly gifts for everyone you love without blowing your holiday budget. We’ve searched through ads galore in order to share some great green deals for Black Friday...

Save money and energy this winter with these 7 sustainable home heating systems

Nov 14, 2018: Rising heating costs are an issue all around the world. When winter comes, heating expenses can destroy your budget, but traditional heating methods are also bad for the environment. Fortunately, there are plenty of sustainable types of heating that can also save you money in the long run. From solar power to hydronic systems, here is a quick list of all the different types of sustainable heating available for your home. Geothermal Systems Geothermal heating is both eco-friendly and efficient....

Two moody, tranquil cabins perch above a Quebec forest

Nov 14, 2018: Related: + NatureHumaine Via Archdaily NatureHumaine, La Binocle…

MAD Architects to transform an ancient Chinese courtyard into a kindergarten with a "floating roof"

Nov 14, 2018: Beijing-based design practice MAD Architects has broken ground on the Courtyard Kindergarten, a striking adaptive reuse project that transform a traditional siheyuan courtyard from the 1700s into the site of a creative and colorful kindergarten. Located in Beijing, the project aims to preserve the cultural heritage of the site while injecting fresh life through the addition of new structures, including a "dynamic floating roof" that surrounds the historic courtyard. As with many of the firm's projects,...

Thousands of animals have been displaced by California wildfires

Nov 14, 2018: The California wildfires are raging on, but humans aren’t the only ones in danger. Dozens of pets and farm animals have received attention in Northern and Southern California while over 400 square miles continue to burn. Over the past few days, the fires have led to mass evacuations, jammed roads, and packed shelters. And, for the animals caught in the blazes, they are also trying to figure out where to run. In Malibu last Friday, horses, goats, and alpacas packed the shoreline along with humans,...

This jet black RV is designed for intrepid travelers who like to explore in style

Nov 14, 2018: Related: This bold ship-inspired tiny house has a surprising minimalist interior + Land Ark RV Land Ark RV, Draper Land Ark RV, tiny home rvs, tiny homes on wheels, tiny home design, converted RV homes, land ark tiny home, beautiful tiny homes, ship-inspired designs, minimalist living, off-grid living, living in a tiny home, how to build a tiny home…

Denver firefighter uses 9 shipping containers to build a stunning family home

Nov 13, 2018: Related: Starburst shipping container home to rise in the California desert + Foster Design Via Dwell Foster Design, firefighter house denver, shipping container home,…

Modern, self-sustaining home blends into a rocky landscape

Nov 13, 2018: Zagreb-based architectural office PROARH completed Issa Megaron, a family retreat in Croatia that’s disguised inside a rocky hillside with a zigzagging road. Due to its remote location and lack of surrounding infrastructure, the contemporary home operates off the grid by necessity and includes self-sustaining technologies from rainwater collection tanks to solar photovoltaic panels. Going off grid, however, hasn’t compromised the architect’s pursuit of luxurious living, made evident by the...

Impossible Burgers to hit grocery stores in 2019

Nov 13, 2018: The Impossible Burger is a plant-based patty that bleeds and sizzles when it cooks, and for the past couple of years, you could only find it in restaurants. Made from the magic ingredient heme, an iron-containing compound that mimics a meaty flavor, this patty has a smaller environmental footprint than its beef counterpart, and it has become extremely popular since its debut in 2016. In September, the Impossible Burger expanded from high-end restaurants and made its way into the fast-food chain,...

Federal judge blocks the Keystone XL Pipeline

Nov 12, 2018: In a major setback for President Trump, last week a U.S. district judge issued an order to block construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline while the State Department studies its impact on the environment. Last year, the Trump administration approved the controversial 1,179-mile pipeline, but Judge Brian Morris’ 54-page order is preventing it from being built - for now. This decision does not permanently stop construction, but it is putting construction on hold until the State Department takes...

Yves Bhar designs compact, prefab homes to tackle the housing crisis

Nov 12, 2018: Yves Béhar has designed everything from high-tech wearables to voice-activated transforming furniture—and now the prolific San Francisco-based designer is adding prefabricated homes to the list. Unveiled earlier this month at the Summit Festival in Los Angeles, the YB1 (Yves Béhar LivingHomes) is a line of prefabricated accessory dwelling units created in partnership with LivingHomes, the design studio of California-based prefabricated home producers Plant Prefab. The fully customizable modular...

A London office boasts biophilic design for a healthier, happier workplace

Nov 12, 2018: A new experimental office on the twelfth floor of The Shard in London offers a breath of fresh air—literally. Wrapped in bamboo surfaces and punctuated by living plants, facilities management company Mitie’s headquarters in London was created by local practice DaeWha Kang Design. The biophilic project—dubbed the Living Lab at The Shard—mimics nature from its natural materials palette to the circadian lighting system linked to an astronomical clock. As its name suggests, the Living Lab...

Zaha Hadid unveils futuristic designs for New Moscow

Nov 12, 2018: Zaha Hadid Architects and Russian firm TPO Pride Architects have been selected as one of the consortiums to design the new Rublyovo-Arkhangelskoye neighborhood, a new development on the western boundary of Moscow, Russia that’s been dubbed “New Moscow.” As expected of Zaha Hadid Architects, the renderings of the winning design depict curvaceous, futuristic architecture. The two other consortiums selected to develop the project include Japanese firm Nikken Sekki with local practice UNK Project...

Ultra-thin transparent silver films for solar cells

Nov 12, 2018: A new fabrication process for transparent ultra-thin silver films has been developed. The material may help build highly efficient solar cells and light-emitting diodes. However, traditional chemical methods have not been able to produce ultra-thin and pure silver films.

New records in perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells through improved light management

Nov 12, 2018: Using microstructured layers, a team has been able to increase the efficiency of perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells, achieving 25.5 %, which is the highest published value to date. At the same time, computational simulations were utilized to investigate light conversion in various device designs with different nanostructured surfaces. This enabled optimization of light management and detailed energy yield analyses.

Everlane introduces long-lasting outerwear made from recycled water bottles

Nov 12, 2018: The ReNew outerwear line, launched in late October by Everlane, yanked three million water bottles out of the waste stream and turned them into fibers for the venture. The new product line offers cleaner fashion in an industry known for heavy pollution and resource consumption. This first round of renewed clothing includes four fleece pullover options, six puffer jackets, and three parkas. <!--more--> While other companies have edged towards the trend of incorporating recycled materials...

The remote Blacktail Cabin offers a convenient escape in Montana

Nov 12, 2018: If you dream of escaping the hustle of daily life at a remote cabin in the woods, the Blacktail Cabin might be just your ideal getaway. Situated along the shore of Flathead Lake in Montana, a stay at the Blacktail Cabin will drop you in the middle of outdoor activities. During the summer months, frolic in the lake with an afternoon of swimming, paddling, or fishing. In the winter months, head up to the nearby Blacktail Mountain Ski Area for some skiing or snowboarding. <!--more-->   However...

BIGs dramatic hillside apartments officially open in Stockholm

Nov 9, 2018: Bjarke Ingels Group has announced the official opening of the long-awaited 79&Park, a residential development with a striking stepped design. Located in Stockholm’s Gärdet district, the sculptural complex consists of 169 foliage-covered apartments constructed from prefabricated 3.6-meter by 3.6-meter modules arranged around an open green courtyard. The cascading design was developed to optimize access to natural light as well as views towards the city and Gärdet’s parklands. Inaugurated...

Reclaimed materials and a massive green wall transports Denali shoppers to the great outdoors

Nov 9, 2018: Earlier this fall, Connecticut-based multidisciplinary design practice Pirie Associates completed a “biophilic” store that evokes the image of a romantic aging barn bursting with lush greenery. Created as the eighth brick-and-mortar location for the outdoor clothing and gear retail chain Denali, the newly opened Providence, Rhode Island store that sits next to Brown University on Thayer Street brings together a massive, low-maintenance vertical green wall with a predominately timber material...

A dark, damp house becomes a sustainable, sun-soaked abode

Nov 9, 2018: Formerly cold, dim and damp, a terrace house in Northcote, Victoria has been reborn into a vibrant and welcoming dwelling with an emphasis on gardening. Designed by Green Sheep Collective for a client named Jill, the compact project, named Jill’s House, saw a modest expansion of just 22 square meters of space yet gained its bright and spacious feel thanks to a thorough renovation. Created to meet the client’s aspirations for a “very healthy home,” Jill’s House embraces recycled materials,...

How to host Thanksgiving dinner in a tiny home or small apartment

Nov 9, 2018: If you have a tiny home or apartment, the idea of hosting Thanksgiving dinner can seem like a daunting task. A few hundred square feet, no dining furniture, small appliances, and limited seating can definitely present some challenges. But, if you have a plan, you can throw a successful, delicious feast. Here’s how you do it. Make A Detailed Plan for the Menu, and Keep It Simple The items you need for your Thanksgiving dinner can overwhelm your small space, so you want to plan ahead and develop...

Solar power: largest study to date discovers 25 percent power loss across UK

Nov 9, 2018: Regional 'hot spots' account for the power slump and these are more prevalent in the North of England than in the south.

3XN unveils a sustainable redesign for the Sydney Fish Market

Nov 8, 2018: Danish design practice 3XN has revealed their competition-winning redesign for the Sydney Fish Market, a waterfront marketplace that will undergo a $250 million expansion and, in the process, revitalize the waterfront. Topped with an undulating wave-inspired roof, the contemporary building will emphasize connections with the outdoors while improving visitor access. Sustainability has also guided the design of the structure, which will feature smart water-saving strategies including rainwater harvesting,...

A gloomy house is revived as a modern solar home built of recycled materials

Nov 8, 2018: A dark and gloomy non-insulated dwelling with zero views to speak of has been dramatically transformed into a bright and sustainable new home thanks to the work of local architecture studio Urban Creative. Flanked by 6-meter tall-walls and set on a long and narrow lot in inner Melbourne, 2 Halves Make a Home is a three-bedroom family residence that comprises two structures centered on a light-filled courtyard that allows daylight to penetrate deep into the living areas. Bricks sourced from the original...

This holiday home in Montauk produces all of its own electricity

Nov 8, 2018: East of the Hamptons sits a stunning solar-powered summer home that celebrates indoor/ outdoor living. Wrapped in exposed concrete, and fire-resistant charred timber, the home—dubbed the Montauk House—is the work of Desai Chia Architects, a New York City-based design practice that created the two-story home (with a basement level) for a family with two children. The roof of the house also conceals a large photovoltaic array that harnesses enough energy to power the entire residence, while passive...

Harvesting renewable energy from the sun and outer space at the same time

Nov 8, 2018: Scientists have demonstrated for the first time that heat from the sun and coldness from outer space can be collected simultaneously with a single device. Their research suggests that devices for harvesting solar and space energy will not compete for land space and can actually help each other function more efficiently.

'Single-use' is announced as the Word of the Year 2018

Nov 8, 2018: Collins Dictionary has announced their choice for 2018 Word of the Year - single-use. This term describes items, often plastic, that are made to be used just once before throwing them away. And, the frequent use of these items has been blamed for damaging the environment and negatively affecting the food chain. Since 2013, use of the word has increased fourfold because of a rise in public awareness, thanks to news stories, images of plastic items adrift in oceans, and the global campaign to reduce...

Eco-friendly geodomes provide a luxurious stay in an idyllic Quebec forest

Nov 8, 2018: Related: + Bourgeois / Lechasseur Architects Photography by Maxime Valsan…

An ancient Jaipur palace property is transformed into a modern restaurant

Nov 7, 2018: New Delhi-based multidisciplinary design practice Studio Lotus has transformed a portion of Jaipur’s lavish City Palace Museum into Baradari, a contemporary fine dining restaurant that pays homage to its rich architectural roots. Formerly used as a fairly nondescript palace cafe, the 14,000-square-foot property has been given a sumptuous revamp using traditional craftsmanship and artisanal techniques. The adaptive reuse project is not only a hybrid of centuries-old elements and modern aesthetics,...

The votes are in for key environmental issues of the 2018 midterms

Nov 7, 2018: Most of the results are in from Tuesday’s election, and when it comes to environmental issues, the outcomes sent a lot of mixed messages. Changes In Washington On the national stage, the Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives puts up a roadblock to any major environmental legislation President Trump would like to pass. In the past two years, the POTUS has pushed for an attack on the Endangered Species Act and a farm bill that would have limited controls on water pollution and...

Calgary Central Library is wrapped in a striking, snowflake-like facade

Nov 7, 2018: Calgary’s new Central Library has just opened its doors to the public—and it’s a thing of elegant energy-efficient beauty. International architecture firm Snøhetta teamed up with North America-based multidisciplinary design firm DIALOG to create the new main branch of the Calgary Public Library, one of the largest library systems on the continent. Wrapped in a dynamic, triple-glazed facade overlaid in a modular and hexagonal pattern, the eye-catching library provides 240,000 square feet of...

Images of photosynthetic protein complex splitting water

Nov 7, 2018: In a new article presents high-resolution images of photosystem II, the protein complex that splits water into hydrogen ions and oxygen during photosynthesis. The images will help researchers better understand this complex mechanism, possibly opening up the door to developing cheap and efficient solar fuel devices.

The ozone is finally healing and could be completely repaired by 2060

Nov 7, 2018: Finally, some good news about the environment. Earlier this week, the United Nations announced in a report that the ozone layer is on the road to recovery. If the current recovery rate continues, parts of the ozone could be fully repaired by the 2030s. And, the entire layer - even the highly damaged parts over the North and South Pole - could be completely healed by 2060. Over the past few decades, humans have done significant damage to the ozone layer, which protects life on Earth from the sun’s...

Carbon-neutral home in Australia conceals its energy efficiency with minimalist design

Nov 6, 2018: Related: This super-insulated concrete “cabin” hides a surprisingly cozy interior + Whispering Smith Via Dwell Whispering Smith, House A…

Luminous LEDs transform Pragues historic Mirror Chapel into an interactive art space

Nov 6, 2018: The lavish interiors of Prague, Czech Republic’s Mirror Chapel was recently transformed into a psychedelic arts space thanks to New York-based design studio SOFTlab. Commissioned by the 2018 Signal Festival that concluded last month, the designers had inserted an interactive and circular art installation made of responsive mirrors and LEDs. Dubbed Iris, the luminous artwork reacted to ambient sound and the movement of people through the rotation of mirrors, creating vertically fragmented images...