Alternative Energy

Solar Power News

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

Feb 21, 2017

Solar Energy

Beautiful cabin pops up in ten days with minimal landscape disturbance

Feb 20, 2017: BIO Architects recently completed a modern modular cabin, proving yet again how beautiful homes can be affordable with the help of prefabrication. Commissioned by a young couple that desired a cost-effective home on the lake, the prefabricated cabin is the latest iteration in the Russian firm’s line of modular Dubldom homes. The dwelling, located at Pirogovo Lake in the suburbs of Moscow, was installed in roughly ten days with minimal site impact. The lakeside cabin, named DublDom...

BMW and LEGO team up to create a futuristic flying motorcycle

Feb 20, 2017: It appears LEGO provides inspiration for everyone from preschool-aged future engineers to BMW. The two companies collaborated on the LEGO Technic BMW R 1200 GS Adventure model kit based on a BMW motorcycle. But as the LEGO Technic kits often offer an alternative build, designers from the two companies looked to the future to create a Hover Ride Design Concept - and then built one in real life.

Tiny meditation shelters are the perfect place for hikers to connect with the forest

Feb 20, 2017: These small meditation shelters offer protection and a place to rest to hikers exploring the Lithuanian forest of Anykščiai. The project, named Gapahuk, is part of a larger Meditation Garden designed by Bjørnådal Arkitektstudio which has won the American Architecture Prize 2016. The shelters are meant to provide a space where people can reconnect with nature and find harmony with the environment. Used for individual meditation and as a place where hikers can rest and get warm, this cluster...

Mexico City is sinking - and it's going to cause some real problems

Feb 20, 2017: Mexico City, a scant mile and a half above sea level, is sinking. It's a turn of events that shouldn't surprise anyone with a rudimentary grasp of history. Established by the Aztecs in 1325, the city formerly known as Tenochtitlán occupies what was once a plexus of interconnected lakes that were first drained by the Spaniards, then paved over with concrete and steel by modern engineers. As a result, Mexico City has to dig deep—literally—to obtain fresh water for its 21 million residents. But...

London is charging old, polluting vehicles a 10 fine to drive in the city

Feb 20, 2017: As of October 23 2017, drivers of older and more polluting cars will have to pay an £10 fee if they want to drive in central London. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said last Friday that the “T-charge” as it’s being called, is being put in place in an effort to quell the massive amounts of pollution in the central city. That pollution reached high enough levels last week to warrant public warnings to residents about air quality. “It’s staggering that we live in a city where the air...

The Hague has been transformed into the 'World's Largest Mondrian'

Feb 20, 2017: https://vimeo.com/202903231 Related: + Modrian to Dutch Via Archdaily…

California city could become the first Zero Net Energy city in the U.S.

Feb 20, 2017: The city of Lancaster, California is one step closer to becoming a Zero Net Energy city - the very first in the U.S. The proposed ordinance, recently moved forward by the city council, will require all new homes to be equipped with solar panels or to take other steps toward energy mitigation. The end goal is to create a city with a truly sustainable future. “This is a great stride in Lancaster’s journey to become a Zero Net City,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris in a statement. “The...

High school students are building tiny homes to give to flood survivors

Feb 20, 2017: Last year, floods devastated West Virginia, destroying over 5000 homes and killing over 20 people. Since the storm, the state has struggled to provide adequate housing for those thousands made homeless by the storm. Yet high school students attending vocational schools may be leading the way to healing the community. The schools, which teach skills such as carpentry and plumbing are now mastering the necessary skills to design and build homes. Tiny houses to be exact- Related: Enter Here  Paragraph...

One in 11 US public schools are plagued by toxic air

Feb 20, 2017: When parents send their kids off to school, they might worry their child forgot their homework or won't eat enough at lunch. Air quality isn't usually among their worries. But a joint investigation from The Center for Public Integrity and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting reveals almost 8,000 public schools in the United States are located within 500 feet of highways or roads - that's one in 11 schools. As vehicles travel along those roads, they pump out toxins that may seriously...

Ancient microbes survive inside massive cave crystals for 50,000 years

Feb 20, 2017: Scientists have found strange, ancient microbes in Mexico's Naica crystal caves that could be around 50,000 years old. Although the caves are so hot they've been described as hell - while also being so magical they've been described as Fairyland - the microbes have been able to survive for thousands of years trapped in crystals. Scientists who studied the microbes referred to them as super life.

Hawaii aims to ban coral reef-killing chemical sunscreens

Feb 20, 2017: Evidence links sunscreen ingredients to dying coral reefs, and now Hawaii lawmakers are taking action. Fearing the loss of their state's reefs, which are popular tourist attractions, Senator Will Espero introduced a bill that would ban sunscreen with octinoxate and oxybenzone.

Cigarette factory reborn as a light-filled city hall in Brussels

Feb 20, 2017: A building that once belonged to a cigarette factory has shed its smoky past for a new life in civil service. Mamout Architects, LD2 Architecture, and Stéphanie Willocx transformed the industrial structure into a two-story city-hall branch in Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, a multicultural municipality in Brussels, Belgium. The modern renovated building is punctuated with large windows to let in natural light and to emphasize connection and transparency with the community. The three Brussels-based...

JFK Airport is opening a $65 million pet terminal

Feb 20, 2017:     Traveling with pets just got a little bit easier for anyone passing through New York’s John F. Kennedy airport. A $65-million terminal for animals, the The ARK at JFK, has just unveiled the first part of a three-stage opening with its new “Pet Oasis.” For now, the facility will help educate pet owners on any flight requirements before takeoff, provide food and water for flights, receive incoming pets and help board others on their outgoing flights, and even microchip animals...

Missouri community is building 50 tiny homes for homeless veterans

Feb 19, 2017: Related: Tiny House Nation’s Zack Giffin will teach veterans to build their own homes Via http://www.countryliving.com/life/inspirational-stories/a39952/tiny-home-village-for-homeless-veterans/…

Russia's historic metro stations captured in awe-inspiring photographs

Feb 19, 2017: The Moscow and St. Petersburg Metro was one of the most extravagant projects undertaken by the USSR, starting in 1935. Stalin directed his architects to bring a "bright future" to life through their designs. The finished stations are lined with polished marble and chandeliers, meant to mimic an artificial underground sun. Of course, Stalin's goal here was pure propaganda -- a reminder to the citizens of Russia that their sacrifices had been rewarded by the regime. Even today, many of the stations...

North Korea's 'Hotel of Doom' is the world's largest abandoned building

Feb 19, 2017: This pyramid-shaped hotel in North Korea, once a contender for the tallest hotel in the world, has remained unfinished since 1989 and instead became the world's largest abandoned building. The notorious 105-story Ryugyong Hotel, frequently referred to as the "Hotel of Doom," could come to life after all. An Egyptian company called Orascom started working on the project again in 2008. The structure, designed by Baikdoosan Architects & Engineers, first broke ground in 1987 in Pyongyang,...

China is building the world's first migratory Bird Airport

Feb 19, 2017: Located in Tianjin, Adrian McGregor, CEO & Lead Designer: “The earths bird fly ways are a wonder of the natural world. The proposed Bird Airport will be a globally significant sanctuary for endangered migratory bird species whilst providing new green lungs for the city of Tianjin." Related: + McGregor Coxall Migratory Bird Airport, Lingang Sanctuary, McGregor Coxall, bird sanctuary, airport bird sanctuary, eco architecture, animal architecture, conservation, bird sanctuary,...

7 charming off-grid homes for a rent-free life

Feb 18, 2017: Want to make rent and utility bills a thing of the past? We’ve rounded up seven off-grid homes that could be the answer to making your dreams a reality. Stylish and self-sufficient, these eco-friendly dwellings promise freedom from the grid. Many are even set atop wheels to let you can move with your home to almost anywhere you desire. Keep reading to see the seven charming homes that offer homeowners the chance to live off the grid and rent-free. WOHNWAGON Powered by solar energy...

Geologists find seventh continent hiding in plain sight

Feb 18, 2017: There's another continent on our planet, and it's been lurking in plain view for a long time. Geologists identify six continents, combining Asia and Europe into Eurasia, but a new study reveals New Zealand and New Caledonia are actually part of a seventh geologic continent called Zealandia. Not only is the information an exciting curiosity, but it could impact the politics and economics of the region.

Futuristic oceanscapers are floating villages 3D-printed from algae and plastic waste

Feb 18, 2017: The project aims to resolve the long-lasting tensions between the Western governments and the African countries when it comes to global energy consumption. Thanks to Archibiotics, a discipline pioneered by Callebaut, a new type of architecture would be born-one that combines renewable energies together with information and communication technologies (NTIC) in order to offer energy independence to each state in the world and end oil-related conflicts. Related: Vincent Callebaut Unveils Plans...

Curious Slanted House in Jakarta critiques establishment architecture

Feb 18, 2017: The Slanted House is located on a plot in Pondok Indah, a gated community built in the 1970s and 1980s. It is a rich neighborhood where prominent politicians, artists and celebrities built houses that borrow from the stylistic language of Mediterranean architecture, which is meant to showcase the owner's high social standing and success. Related: Budi Pradono’s Naturally Cooled R-House Brings Nature Indoors The slanted frame represents instability, while the glass-clad floors provide...

Scott Pruitt confirmed as head of the Environmental Protection Agency

Feb 17, 2017: In a major loss for the planet, the US Senate confirmed climate denier Scott Pruitt as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, an agency that Pruitt has sued numerous times and has promised to render toothless. Will no irony at all, Senate Majority Leader stated about the confirmation: "He's exceptionally qualified. He's dedicated to environmental protection." Pruitt calls himself "a leading advocate against the EPA's activist agenda," and true to his word, he has worked hard to...

Tesla to cover repair costs after Model S owner sacrifices his car to save a life

Feb 17, 2017: Not only are Tesla cars saving the environment, they're now quite literally saving lives. A Tesla Model S driver in Germany noticed another car swerving on the Autobahn, and when he saw that car's driver was unconscious, he risked his own vehicle to save the driver's life. Elon Musk got wind of the Tesla driver's heroism, and announced Tesla will pay for repairs to the Model S. Related:…

SPACE10 creates an open-source Growroom you can build at home

Feb 17, 2017:       images via Alona Vibe, Rasmus Hjortshøj, Niklas Vindelev and Space10…

Canoeing center wrapped in recycled materials resists winter flooding

Feb 17, 2017: Portuguese multidisciplinary design studio ateliermob completed the Alvega Canoeing Center, a contemporary building that’s both sustainably designed and beautiful to look at. Located on the banks of Portugal’s Tagus River, the Alvega Canoeing Center is elevated to avoid the regular winter floods and to minimize soil degradation. Recycled black plastic profiles wrap around the canoeing center, which comprises three separate volumes, to give the structure a sense of cohesiveness and to allow natural...

Zaha Hadid Architects designs Beijing tower with worlds tallest atrium

Feb 17, 2017: Beijing is one step closer to completing the world’s tallest atrium. The 190-meter-tall atrium is part of the Leeza Soho, a 46-story mixed-use tower currently under construction that recently reached level 20. Zaha Hadid Architects designed the striking light-filled building integrated with energy-efficient systems and engineered to meet LEED Gold standards. Shaped like a slim barrel, the 172,800-square-meter Leeza Soho is set within the Lize Financial District and will be well connected...

Natural ventilation and light filters through this glittering perforated facade

Feb 17, 2017: Everyday life permeates through the faceted perforated facade of this shopping center in Bankok. Taiwan-based studio Architectkidd designed the project, named The Street Ratchada, by renovating an existing retail development and combining Thailand's traditional metalwork techniques with digital design to create an engaging envelope. The building features a semi-outdoor atrium, a variety of programs and public activities that help embed the project into the existing urban tissue of Bangkok. Traditionally...

Whimsical cottage straight out of Snow White can be yours

Feb 17, 2017: Related: Via Boing Boing Snow white cottage,…

Dubai plans to launch autonomous flying drone taxis by mid-2017

Feb 17, 2017:   Adding to its reputation as a leader in experimental transportation, Dubai is hoping to launch autonomous air taxis capable of transporting people far above the city’s traffic woes as soon as the middle of 2016. According to Auto Blog, the United Arab Emirates capital’s Roads and Transportation authority announced the plans earlier this week, after a demonstration of the technology at the three-day World Government Summit.  The Chinese-made Ehang 184 drone used in the demonstration...

Swap-in wheel converts any bike into an electric within 60 seconds

Feb 17, 2017:   Interested in trying an electric bike, but too attached to your traditional frame to part with it? Now there’s a solution for you – the GeoOrbital bike wheel. It’s a battery-powered tire that can replace a regular wheel on your bicycle, making your bike electric in just 60 seconds. The wheel comes in two sizes which should fit 95% of all adult bicycles and allows bikes to travel 20 miles per hour for up to 50 miles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGdiIH8jODo&ab_channel=GeoOrbital The...

EPA workers openly fight against potential Pruitt confirmation

Feb 17, 2017: With Scott Pruitt's installation as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head seeming more likely, current EPA employees have taken to their phones and the streets to protest his potential confirmation. They've called their senators and protested, and one expert said he "can't think of any other time when people in the bureaucracy have done this." Related:…

Is U.S. car ownership on the decline?

Feb 17, 2017: Photo by Benjamin Child…

The Sunbubble greenhouse is a mini Eden for your backyard

Feb 17, 2017: https://youtu.be/4ktuqgOEqLcRelated: Gorgeous Bubble Gardens Pop Up in the Streets of Paris + Sunbubble Greenhouse Via Haxnicks Sunbubble greenhouse, bubble greenhouse, modular greenhouse, greenhouse design,…

The world's first flying car is finally available for pre-order

Feb 17, 2017:   The future that has been previewed by science fiction for years may have officially arrived, as pre-orders are about to begin for the world’s first commercially available flying car. After years of working on flying car prototypes, Netherlands-based PAL-V has just announced its Liberty Sport and Liberty Pioneer gyroplane flying cars, both of which can drive on land and fly in the air. But one thing’s for sure, the future’s not cheap, with the base Sport model starting at $399,000...

Will Sell-By Dates Soon Be a Thing of the Past?

Feb 16, 2017: Ah, sell-by dates, those little stamps that are supposed to reassure us that the foods we buy aren’t spoiled. Most of us check them regualrly, if not obsessively, and trust that if we stay within their parameters, we can avoid making ourselves sick. But according……

Young carpenter builds cost-effective timber cabin for his first home

Feb 16, 2017: When a young carpenter with a modest budget wanted to build his first home, he turned to Atelier l'Abri for help with the design. The Montreal-based architecture firm responded with a modern and uncomplicated design for a cabin that recedes into its forested surroundings of Bolton in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. The self-build project is l'Abri’s first built house design and is named Wood Duck in reference to the project’s use of timber for the structure, cladding, and interior finishes. The...

New solar canopy provides both shade and clean energy

Feb 16, 2017:     In a beautiful marriage of form and function, architect and designer, Carlo Ratti has created a light-reflecting canopy that both creates shade and directs sunlight to a photovoltaic panel where it generates electricity. Called Sun&Shade, the canopy is built with mirrors that rotate automatically with the movement of the sun and reflect its rays to a solar PV panel “located a safe distance away.” Ratti just unveiled the Sun&Shade prototype at Dubai’s Museum of the...

Artists recycle hundreds of plastic bottles into a dynamic arch in Chiang Mai

Feb 16, 2017: Plastic trash is a major problem in Thailand’s beautiful Chiang Mai, but a team of designers has found a way to creatively rethink waste in a positive light. Design collectives VINN PATARARIN and FAHPAV combined handcrafted design with 3D modeling to create Self-Ornamentalize, a temporary installation made from 850 recycled plastic bottles. The experimental pavilion was installed a part of Compeung, an artist-in-residence program hosted at Chiang Mai’s suburban village of DoiSakt. The...

Floating ring-shaped memorial celebrates Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai

Feb 16, 2017: This ring-shaped memorial dedicated to internationally renowned Kenyan environmental political activist and Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai, celebrates human rights and environmental conservation. Boogertman + Partners architects designed the circular form to emphasize the notion of "walks and talks" that deeply marks Wangari’s legacy. A long timber-decked route leads visitors over a body of water to the main entrance of the memorial located beneath the structural floating ring. The underside...

Printable solar cells just got a little closer

Feb 16, 2017: A new innovation could make printing solar cells as easy and inexpensive as printing a newspaper. Researchers have cleared a critical manufacturing hurdle in the development of a relatively new class of solar devices called perovskite solar cells. This alternative solar technology could lead to low-cost, printable solar panels capable of turning nearly any surface into a power generator.

Formula E unveils the next generation of all-electric racing

Feb 16, 2017: The all-electric Forumla E racing series is set to get a major update for its fifth season, which kicks off at the end of 2018. Spark Racing Technology won the contract to build the second-generation race car bodies for the series fifth season and has just revealed the initial renderings - simply stunning! Spark Racing Technology currently builds the race car bodies that run now in the competition, but the French company hopes to make some major improvements to its new design, including improved...

The UAE joins race to build first city on Mars

Feb 16, 2017: The race to construct the first settlement on Mars is on, with everyone from NASA to Elon Musk angling for the prize. Now the United Arab Emirates has announced their intention to build Mars' first city within 100 years. Their plan, called Mars 2117, aims to inspire and act as a seed for future generations to grow.

"Extraordinary" levels of pollution found in deepest parts of the ocean

Feb 16, 2017: To paraphrase the immortal words of Diana Ross and the Supremes, ain't no mountain high enough, ain't no valley low enough to keep us from mucking it up. Case in point? The Pacific Ocean's Mariana and Kermadec trenches, which at tens of thousands of feet deep, remain two of the planet's most remote reaches. But even they are not immune to environmental damage from humans. Samples of amphipods—tiny, shrimp-like crustaceans who call the underwater canyons home—reveal "extraordinary levels" of persistent...

Breakthrough in 'wonder' materials paves way for flexible tech

Feb 16, 2017: Gadgets are set to become flexible, highly efficient and much smaller, following a breakthrough in measuring two-dimensional 'wonder' materials, report investigators.

Self-shaping shelters that could revolutionize emergency housing

Feb 16, 2017: Related: ASU’s new Biomimicry Center offers first-ever master’s degree in biomimicry + Haresh Lalvani Via Archdaily…

Climate change is draining the oceans of oxygen

Feb 16, 2017:   A new study in the journal Nature has found that the amount of dissolved oxygen in the ocean is declining worldwide – and it’s a direct result of climate change. The paper was authored by researchers from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, and found that the oceans of the world have lost more than two percent of their oxygen content between 1960 and 2010. However, the losses were not spread evenly across the globe – the Arctic Ocean, in particular, has...

The US solar market grew by a record-breaking 95% last year

Feb 16, 2017: President Donald Trump might want to took at the latest solar power numbers because if he likes winning as much as he says he does than he should ditch dirty coal and ride the renewables revolution. The United States solar market grew an astounding 95 percent in 2016, installing an amazing 14.5 gigawatts new solar capacity, according to the annual Solar Market Insight Report (SMI) from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

This bright teal tiny house features an observation tower for amazing views

Feb 16, 2017: Imagine buying a plot of land with a stellar view for your future home, only to see the construction of multi-family developments on the neighboring sites, threatening to block out the dreamy scenery. That’s exactly what happened to ON Architecture’s http://on-u.kr/ client near Gimhae, South Korea. In order to preserve scenic views of the nearby city, while fulfilling the client’s desire to have a small home, the architects devised Tower House - a unique modern structure with an unexpected...