Alternative Energy

Solar Power News

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

Sep 26, 2017

Solar Energy

New Japanese turbines harvest wave energy and protect coastlines from erosion

Sep 25, 2017: Surf's up! Researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in Japan are working on a project with the goal of creating turbines that both harvest the renewable energy of tidal movement while simultaneously protecting coastlines from erosion. To accomplish this, turbines would be placed atop tetrapods, star-shaped concrete structures anchored to the sea floor with mooring cables,…

Frida the rescue dog helps search for survivors after Mexico's deadly earthquake

Sep 25, 2017: A 7.1 magnitude earthquake rocked Mexico earlier this week, and in Mexico City, 15 dogs are coming to the rescue. But none are quite as beloved as Frida, a 7-year-old Labrador who achieved Twitter fame. The Internet at first thought she'd found 52 people after the earthquake, and while that figure isn't correct - she's found 52 over the course of her whole career - people have been drawn to the story of a dog in blue boots and goggles searching for survivors. Related:…

Go way off-grid in this beautiful bamboo hut in tucked into Bali's lush mountains

Sep 25, 2017: Related: Beautiful bamboo building withstands floods and storms in Vietnam + Hideout Bali Via Archdaily Jarmil Lhoták + Alena Fibichová, Hideout Bali, bamboo buildings bali, bamboo buildings, bamboo building material, locally sourced materials,…

Flesh-eating bacteria might be spread by mosquitoes in Australia

Sep 25, 2017: Cases of infections from a bacteria described as flesh-eating seem to be increasing in Australia. The bacteria Mycobacterium ulcerans gives Buruli ulcers, non-healing sores that slowly grow bigger. The ulcers are a huge health issue in West Africa, and now Australia has been seeing more cases. Scientists aren't quite sure how humans get infected - but possums or mosquitoes are two suspicions. Related:…

Compact New Zealand home sets its sights on going off the grid

Sep 25, 2017: High on a hill above New Zealand’s idyllic Peka Peka beach sits an eco-friendly compact home that responds to the surrounding landscape. Herriot Melhuish O’Neill Architects designed the dwelling, named Peka Peka House I, as three boxy units perfectly positioned to maximize shelter as well as views of Kapiti Island, forestry, and farmland. In response to the client’s desires to eventually go off-grid, the home is equipped with photovoltaic panels, solar hot water panels, above-code insulation,...

Cool micro studio in Budapest makes the most out of 344 square feet

Sep 25, 2017: Related: + Studio Bunyik + Architecture Uncomfortable Workshop Via Dwell Photography via Bence Farkasinszki Micro housing, micro studio, Architecture Uncomfortable Workshop, lofted bedroom, tiny homes, tiny space design, tiny home living, tiny home interior design, flexible furniture, micro studio hungary, interior design, wooden furniture, bespoke furniture, furniture design,…

MIT engineers devise algorithm to identify warning signs of extreme weather events

Sep 25, 2017: Extreme events - like a rogue wave or sudden extinction of an animal species - often seem to strike without any hint beforehand. So two Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) engineers came up with a framework, a computer algorithm, to spot patterns that occur before such an event. Their method may help anticipate hotspots of instability, so we could try to avoid extreme events. Related:…

Semitransparent and flexible: Solar cells made from atomically thin sheet

Sep 25, 2017: A new method for fabricating semitransperant, flexible solar cells has greatly improved power conversion efficiency.

Plasma Rock is a new material made from 100% recycled landfill waste

Sep 25, 2017: Related: Artist recycles leaf waste into biodegradable Beleaf chair + Inges Luijs Plasma Rock, recycled waste, sustainable design, london design festival,…

Scientists warn new "super malaria" in SE Asia poses alarming global threat

Sep 25, 2017: If you're planning a trip to South East Asia, you may want to reconsider your itinerary. An evolved form of malaria which is resistant to anti-malaria medication is spreading at an "alarming global rate," according to scientists. The parasite was first documented in Cambodia but quickly migrated to other regions. Researchers predict mass casualties should the "super malaria" spread to Africa, where over 90 percent of cases occur. The “super malaria” is more dangerous than the original...

World's fastest bullet train can travel between Beijing and Shanghai in 4.5 hours

Sep 25, 2017: Traveling between Shanghai and Beijing can take 12 and a half hours by car, or just over eight hours by train. But a new bullet train could slash those travel times. China recently launched the fastest bullet train in the world, and it zooms at 217 miles per hour. Related: China takes on the Hyperloop with a supersonic 'flying train' Via The Telegraph Images via…

Former chicken coop transformed into a backyard artists studio in Berlin

Sep 25, 2017: We’ve heard of horse stables transformed into dwellings for people, but converted chicken coops are a first. Büros für Konstruktivismus turned an old henhouse into a timber-lined artist’s studio in the backyard of a Berlin villa. The adaptive reuse project, called Hühnerhaus (German for henhouse), preserves part of the original facade and completely overhauls the interior into a modern light-filled space. Constructed just after World War II in a lush garden, this former henhouse...

Astronomers observe an object in space unlike anything they've seen before

Sep 22, 2017: Space is full of oddities, but astronomers were recently able to observe a type of object we've never found anything like. 288P is a binary asteroid - or two asteroids orbiting each other - that has the features of a comet, like a long tail and bright coma, or cloud of dust and gas surrounding a comet's nucleus. It is the first binary asteroid we've ever found that can also be classified as a comet. Related:…

Geothermal-powered Lake Austin Home is tuned in to nature

Sep 22, 2017: Local studio A Parallel Architecture designed the award-winning Lake Austin Residence, a beautiful luxury home that derives inspiration from nature. Despite its large 6,750-square-foot size and horizontal footprint, the contemporary house achieves a sense of lightness thanks to ample full-height glazing and limestone massing. The energy-efficient dwelling offers geothermal climate control, as well as onsite waste treatment and water collection. Spread out across two stories, the Lake...

Solar-powered Cottage in the Vineyard puts a modern spin on rural architecture

Sep 22, 2017: Ramón Esteve Estudio completed a minimalist mono-pitched dwelling that blends into its agricultural backdrop yet still catches the eye with its modern design. Located in the rural outskirts of Valencia, Spain, the Cottage in the Vineyard was designed to perfectly integrate into the landscape and features full-height glazing to blur the lines of indoor/outdoor living. The home also sits lightly on the landscape with its use of solar panels, natural insulation, energy-efficient lighting, and rainwater...

Soaring timber tower could clean up contaminated water in NYC's Central Park

Sep 22, 2017: Related: "Aside from supplying water to the pool and Harlem Meer, the Reservoir sits stagnant and fenced off due to its current state as a health threat to millions of New Yorkers, tourists and animals," said DFA. "DFA envisions a temporary landmark that is remarkably of its time to creatively transform the reservoir into one of New York's boldest urban amenities," said studio founder Laith Sayigh. "This conceptual project pushes the boundaries of what we perceive is possible in a city as...

This house for sale in New York has two waterfalls and a luscious forest

Sep 22, 2017: If you’re on the market for a beautiful home that forces you to get in touch with nature, then you might want to check out this piece of property that just went on the market in upstate New York. Delphi Falls, located near Cazenovia, NY, features more than 60 acres of land that include two waterfalls, a creek and woodlands. 0905 0906 The rustic wooden home was built in 1945 and is 3,500 square feet with four bedrooms and three baths. The master bedroom suite on the first floor holds...

Sea turtles appearto be bouncing back from the brink of extinction

Sep 22, 2017: Good news! Despite man-made catastrophes and the unwelcome effects of climate change, populations of sea turtles appear to be thriving. The comprehensive analysis, was published in the journal Science Advances, revealed that even small populations (which normally have a tough time reviving their numbers) are “bouncing back.” However, most sea turtle species are still listed as “vulnerable” or “endangered,” which is why conservation efforts must continue. The comprehensive analysis...

How termites draw on solar power for climate control

Sep 22, 2017: Termite mounds could hold clues into passive climate control, according to new research. Seven scientists scrutinized African termite mounds to see how they keep their homes cool in the sun and also maintain a uniform concentration of carbon dioxide. Researchers have looked at south Asian termite mounds in the past, but as those are often more shaded, uncovering the secrets of African termite mounds could lead to new building ideas.

Nicaragua joins Paris Accord, leaving the US and Syria as lone dissenters

Sep 22, 2017:   A big wake-up call is coming for President Trump, now that Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega has plans to sign the Paris Accord. In December of 2015, nearly 200 countries signed the Paris Climate Agreement to reduce global greenhouse emissions and prevent climate change from worsening. Despite receiving counsel on the decision, US President Trump refused to enter into the agreement because he believes climate change is a “hoax” invented by the Chinese. As a result, the US and war-torn...

Puerto Rico could be without electricity for months due to Hurricane Maria

Sep 22, 2017:   Last Saturday, a Category 4 hurricane named Maria pummeled Puerto Rico. Hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed by the 155 mph winds, and the entire island was left in a total blackout. After a natural disaster such as this, residents would usually go about their lives and pick up the pieces along the way. Due to the island's poor infrastructure, economic woes and the damage caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, however, it may be months before millions of people have access to...

Nouvelle AOM wins competition to give Paris' Tour Montparnasse a massive green makeover

Sep 22, 2017: French architectural consortium of Nouvelle AOM has just been chosen to redesign Paris' historic Tour Montparnasse. The winning design includes a modern makeover for the historic tower that includes cladding the building in a transparent shell and adding a vegetated forest that will improve the air quality around the tower. https://youtu.be/pMFQKyeL_IU The 689-foot Tour Montparnasse was completed in 1973, and was France's tallest skyscraper until 2011. There is a lot of history behind...

The cost of solar power has dropped over 25% in one year

Sep 22, 2017: The revolution continues and solar energy is leading the charge. In a recently published report, the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratories documented that the cost of utility-scale solar, in contrast to residential solar,…

Florida residents prohibited from using solar energy after Hurricane Irma

Sep 21, 2017: Millions of Florida residents lost power after Hurricane Irma. But homeowners with solar energy installations couldn't use them - or they'd be breaking the law. Florida's electricity board made it illegal for people to power their houses with solar panels. Related:…

Off-grid Lake House escapes the Texan heat with minimal landscape impact

Sep 21, 2017: There’s nothing quite like taking a cool dip in a lake on a hot summer’s day. The lucky owners of the Lake House get to escape the brutal Texan heat with laps in Lake Austin thanks to their off-grid boathouse. American studio Andersson-Wise Architects designed the two-story boathouse that operates off the grid and exerts minimal impact on the environment. Created as part of a residential estate, the Lake House in Austin is a boathouse set a half-mile away from the main residence...

New waterproof solar cell generates power even after it gets soaked

Sep 21, 2017: A new solar cell could go through the laundry and emerge still working. The photovoltaic cell, developed by Japanese company RIKEN and the University of Tokyo, is ultra thin and coated on both sides with waterproof and stretchable films. The solar cell can be stretched or compressed or washed and continue to work. The innovation could offer a breakthrough in wearables powered by solar cells. Related: This carbon nanotube yarn generates power when pulled Via RIKEN and TreeHugger Images...

Grow your own mushroom lamp with this brilliant DIY kit

Sep 21, 2017: Related: + Grow Kickstarter + Ecovative Design + MushLume Lighting Collection Grow-It-Yourself Lamp Kickstarter, Ecovative Design, MushLume Lighting Collection, Danielle Trofe, mushroom mycelium, lamp design, mushroom lamps, diy lamps, natural lamps, eco lamps, eco interior design, sustainable lamps, Grow Lamp kit, eco-friendly goods, diy gardening, shroom lamps, mycelium technology, earth-compatible products…

Schmidt Hammer Lassen breaks ground on LEED Gold-seeking incubator in Shanghai

Sep 21, 2017: A striking new high-tech building in Shanghai is going for gold—LEED Gold, that is. Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects just broke ground on the new CaoHeJing Guigu Creative Headquarters, an incubator for high-tech firms designed for LEED Gold certification. Engineered for climate control, the boxy green-roofed center will mitigate Shanghai’s muggy summers and bone-chilling winters with its stacked and staggered massing. Located east of downtown Shanghai near Hongqiao Airport, the...

New York City to install around 1,000 fast-chargers for EVs

Sep 21, 2017: New York City aims to majorly expand their electric vehicle (EV) charging network with a $10 million investment. They recently introduced a plan to bring 50 fast-charging hubs to the city by 2020 - and each hub could have 20 chargers. The city hopes to encourage more people to buy EVs, with the goal that by 2025, 20 percent of new car registrations will be electric cars. Related: Germany unveils plans for the world's largest EV charging station Starting next year, the city will work...

Futuristic floating bubble car wins London design competition

Sep 21, 2017: Renault and Central Saint Martins, UAL have teamed up to develop the car of the future as part of a design competition. The challenge in the competition was for the students of MA Industrial Design to think about the future of autonomous, modular car design, and how infrastructure and services might support it. The concepts will be shown at Designjunction 2017, which runs from September 21-24. Renault is a partner in the competition, since it is eager to develop the technologies of the...

UNEP chief: Polluters should pay for environmental destruction, not taxpayers

Sep 21, 2017: Many companies profit from environmental destruction, leaving taxpayers to pick up the bill. That shouldn't be the case, according to Erik Solheim, executive director for the United Nations Environment Program. At a conference at Columbia University earlier this week, he said, "The profit of destroying nature or polluting the planet is nearly always privatized, while the costs of polluting the planet or the cost of destroying ecosystems is nearly always socialized. This cannot continue." ...

Astonishing time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells set

Sep 21, 2017: Researchers have quantified the astonishingly high speeds at which future solar cells would have to operate in order to stretch what are presently seen as natural limits on their energy conversion efficiency.

New Antarctic farm will grow produce despite temperatures of -100 degrees F

Sep 21, 2017:   Imagine having to go months without an adequate supply of fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables. Scientists based in Antarctica know this struggle, which is why engineers at the German Aerospace Center (GAC) are building a high-tech, 135 square-foot indoor farm that can grow an abundance of produce — even when temperatures are -100 degrees Fahrenheit outside.   The only way to transport food to McMurdo, the US station where the majority of researcher stay, is by plane or ship. Most...

Ericsson's new mixed-reality platform envisions urban design in "real life"

Sep 21, 2017: Ericsson has created a new mixed-reality platform that allows users to envision urban design projects in space. Teaming up with UN-Habitat, Johannesburg Development Agency and WITS University as part of a community project called Building the Public City Through Public Space, the Swedish telecommunications company recently tested their prototype in Braamfontein, South Africa during the Fak'ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival. Albeit still very much in its early development phase, the technology...

Astronomers discover that exoplanet WASP-12b is "darker than asphalt"

Sep 21, 2017: Astronomers discovered the exoplanet WASP-12b in 2008, and since then it's become one of the exoplanets we've best studied. But a recent discovery - that the planet reflects almost no light - could change what we had guessed about WASP-12b's atmosphere. Lead author Taylor Bell, a master's student at McGill University, described the exoplanet as darker than fresh asphalt. Related:…

Affordable flat-pack Surf Shack shelter operates completely off the grid

Sep 20, 2017: Related: + Backcountry Hut Company Backcountry Hut Company…

Extraordinary living chandelier with algae-filled leaves purifies the air

Sep 20, 2017: Related: 13 groundbreaking lighting innovations from NY Design Week + Julian Melchiorri + London Design Festival Julian Melchiorri, algae chandelier, algae chandelier that purifies the air, london design festival 2017, green lighting, innovative lighting, london design week, green lamps, green chandelier, green interior design, sustainable lighting, eco lighting,…

Schwarzenegger-backed startup takes on Tesla with new battery tech

Sep 20, 2017:   Tesla may be the best-known electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, but its grip on the industry isn't guaranteed. The Elon Musk-founded company has plenty of competition, including the Austrian startup Kreisel Electric GmbH. Having experienced sweeping success in the past two years, Kreisel — which was founded by three brothers — is moving into a $12 million research center and battery assembly facility where it will test new battery technology.    For years, Kreisel Electric...

Biomimicry helps nature-lovers and fragile wildlife co-exist at the Votu Hotel in Brazil

Sep 20, 2017: The Maraú Peninsula is a 25 mile long bar of pristine Brazilian sand, flanked by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the tranquil Camamu Bay on the other. One glorious beach gives way to another, as the white sands and turquoise waves meet and mingle. With such stunning landscapes, it’s no wonder hip Brazilians are flocking to these shores. But the native mangrove forests here are one the world’s most endangered ecosystems, and great care must be taken to preserve them. GCP Arquitectura and...

Tesla patent reveals plans for a new battery-swapping machine

Sep 20, 2017: When electric vehicles (EV) rule the road, don’t expect to sit in line for more than 15 minutes waiting for your car's battery pack to be exchanged. This is because electric automaker Tesla recently filed a patent for mobile battery swap technology which will make the task both efficient and quick.   In 2013, the company toyed with the idea of building stationary rigs that can replace a car’s battery pack. However, that idea never took off. Now, the EV maker is improving on the concept...

Greenbuild: The world's biggest green building expo is coming to Boston

Sep 20, 2017: The world's biggest conference dedicated to green building is coming to Boston this November, and you won't want to miss it. The Greenbuild International Conference and Expo will bring together experts, professionals and leaders in sustainable building for mind-blowing exhibits, learning activities, a Net Zero zone, and pavilions with the latest in green building technology.

Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation donates $20M to support environmental causes

Sep 20, 2017: Leonardo DiCaprio's foundation (LDF) just announced their biggest portfolio of environmental grants ever given. LDF is giving $20 million to organizations working for conservation, climate solutions, and indigenous rights. DiCaprio made the announcement yesterday during the Yale Climate Conference hosted by John Kerry, former Secretary of State. LDF CEO Terry Tamminen said, "With a lack of political leadership, and continued evidence that climate change is growing worse with record-breaking heatwaves...

London's sewer-dwelling 'fatberg' will be converted into biofuel

Sep 20, 2017: IT's not the only monster lurking in the sewers. Beneath the streets of London lies the now-notorious "fatberg," a congealed mass of grease, oil, wet wipes and sanitary products which weighs as much as 11 double-decker buses and is 820 feet (250 meters) long. Thames Water Utilities has confirmed that the fatberg will be removed from its subterranean lair and converted into biofuel. “It may be a monster, but the Whitechapel fatberg deserves a second chance,” said Thames Water waste network manager...

Strongest storm to hit Puerto Rico in over 80 years made landfall this morning

Sep 20, 2017: Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico earlier today as a Category 4 storm. While the hurricane had weakened from a Category 5, officials still warned the hurricane is dangerous with life-threatening winds that could blow for 12 to 24 hours. Governor Ricardo Rossello said, "We have not experienced an event of this magnitude in our modern history." Related:…

Morpholios new Augmented Reality feature lets you sketch any space with the accuracy of a pro

Sep 20, 2017: Move over expensive trace paper—Morpholio just launched a new augmented reality feature to its flagship Trace app that makes it easier than ever to turn your iPad into a digital drafting board. Released after the launch of Apple’s iOS 11, the updated Trace app now offers a “Perspective Finder” tool that superimposes scaled grids on any image to let anyone draw a perspective drawing like a pro. The “AR Perspective Finder” was revealed alongside “AR Color Capture”, an augmented reality...

UNStudio completes sustainable all-in-one urban hub in Hangzhou

Sep 20, 2017: UNStudio has completed a stunning new LEED Gold-certified project in China that we hope will be a model for mixed-use development for years to come. Described by the Dutch studio as “a sustainable urban hub for living, working, and leisure,” the enormous complex in Hangzhou is the latest Raffles City to be erected in China. Located in the city’s new central business district in Qianjiang New Town, this nearly 400,000-square-meter development is made iconic with its pair of 250-meter-tall interconnected...

Gogoro revs up Smartscooter expansion with $300 million in new funding

Sep 19, 2017: Get ready Gogoro fans—the firm’s innovative electric scooters could soon be coming to a city near you. The Smartscooter maker just nabbed $300 million in new funding with an impressive list of international backers. Four new high-profile partners joining their current investors include Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management, Singapore-based Temasek, Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation, and French energy giant ENGIE. A sign of growing global support in electric vehicles, this successful round...

Could France-sized ocean garbage patch become 196th nation?

Sep 19, 2017: Trash is polluting our oceans, and now there's a patch near Hawaii that is around the size of the entire country of France. The charity Plastic Oceans Foundation and publication LADbible want to recognize the garbage patch as a country, called Trash Isles, to not only raise awareness, but try to get the area cleaned up. Related: A garbage patch bigger than Texas was just discovered in the Pacific Ocean…

Dozens of Japanese cities and towns quietly go off-grid

Sep 19, 2017: Dozens of cities and towns in Japan have quietly shifted from traditional utility-based grid power system to a more local, resilient model of generating and storing power where it is used. In the wake of the significant damage caused by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, many Japanese municipalities rebuilt to be more equipped for the 21st century. “At the time of the Great East Japan earthquake, we couldn’t secure power and had to go through incredible hardships,” said Yusuke Atsumi, a manager...