Alternative Energy

Solar Power News

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

May 29, 2016

Solar Energy

Idaho mom built a tiny house for her family and their Great Dane

May 28, 2016: Macy Miller built her own tiny house in Boise, Idaho, but it isn't just Miller living there - she also shares the space with her kids, partner and one giant dog. Choosing to focus on experiences rather than stuff, the space requires some clever thinking and a few tight squeezes, but the whole gang lives happily together in just 196 square feet. READ MORE >…

Floating prefab homes overlook gorgeous river views in Thailand

May 28, 2016: Though Kanchanaburi is already famous for its floating houses, the X-Float stands out from its predecessors with its distinct design that blends a contemporary aesthetic with vernacular influences. Described as the “volumetric evolution of a raft,” the X-Float is crafted with a lightweight steel frame and clad with fiber cement siding and plywood. The prefab architecture was constructed offsite and then towed in place. Located at a bend of the River Kwai, the floating homes are carefully...

Google and Levi Strauss created a smart jacket that let's you control your phone

May 28, 2016: Google and Levi Strauss joined together to make a “smart” jacket that looks low-tech, but is literally woven full of technology. The interactive textile features conductive yarns and electronics that lets you use your smartphone without needing to pull it out of your pocket. Need a skip a song? Swipe your sleeve. Imagine how handy this kind of clothing could be while riding a bike or making your way through a crowd. READ MORE >…

How to make edible LEGO jello shot minifigs for your next summer soiree

May 28, 2016: vegetarian lego, agar agar, agar agar shots, vegan jello, vegan jello shots, vegetarian jello, jello lego, vegan lego pieces, edible lego pieces, edible legos, alcoholic jello, jello shot recipe, vegan snacks, vegan party foods, yuka yoneda…

The ingenious duvet cover trick that will change your life (VIDEO)

May 28, 2016: Step 1: Turn your duvet cover inside out and lay it flat on your bed so that the opening is at the foot of your bed. Step 2: Next, lay your comforter or blanket on top of your duvet cover and make sure that the corners are all matched up and aligned. Step…

8 scrumptious vegan BBQ recipes to enjoy this summer

May 28, 2016: ©woodleywonderworks Teriyaki Grilled Eggplant Grilling eggplant brings out a rich, smokey flavor, making each slice the perfect main dish to eat alone or pile on a bun. Try an Asian twist by adding some home-made Teriyaki Marinade. The porous eggplant will…

Utopian off-grid Regen Village produces all of its own food and energy

May 28, 2016: Danish architectural firm EFFEKT envisioned a future where self-sustaining communities grow their own food and produce their own energy. They incorporated that vision into their ReGen Villages, planned off-grid communities that address issues from climate change to the food crisis through sustainable design. They plan to start building these utopian communities this summer. According to EFFEKT's website, there are five principles behind the ReGen Villages: "Energy positive homes. Door-step...

Four stylish green grills for a sustainable Memorial Day

May 28, 2016: Like many Americans, you may be lighting up the barbecue this holiday weekend — but if you want to set yourself apart from the bands of boring black grills, take a cue from our guide to stylish green grills. From DIY creations to hot spots that also double…

Bosnian retiree handcrafts a stunning VW exterior from over 50,000 pieces of oak

May 27, 2016: Bojic, a resident of Celinac near Banja Luka, Bosnia, describes his timber car as a “labor of love.” He started with the bodywork of a regular Beetle and then covered it with timber tiling and custom wooden fittings, from a steering wheel to hubcaps, all of which were handmade in his garden workshop. Related: Toyota’s gorgeous Setsuna car is made from 86 handcrafted wooden panels All parts of the bespoke cruiser are fully functional. To top it all off, Bojic wears a custom hat covered...

'Nightmare' bacteria found in the U.S. resists all known antibiotics

May 27, 2016: Worry over drug-resistant bugs has been mounting. In China last November, bacteria resistant to "last-resort drug" colistin was detected in pigs and people. Other countries began to research, and Europe and Canada discovered the bacteria as well. Now, government officials announced the first case in the United States. A 49-year-old woman in Pennsylvania went to the doctor for symptoms akin to a urinary tract infection, and did not respond to antibiotics. She had not traveled during...

5 buildings around the world that memorialize tragic losses of life

May 27, 2016: 9/ll Memorial image © Amanda Silvana Coen for Inhabitat; other images via Daniel Libeskind, Koji Fujii/Nacasa & Partners, 1 Week 1 Project, and jaime.silva on Flickr…

This Canadian passive house factory was built from its own prefab wood panels

May 27, 2016: The firm estimates the factory will produce 971 less metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, when compared to a facility built from concrete. A heat-recovery ventilation system and incredibly well-insulated walls help reduce carbon emissions, making the BC Passive House Factory an example of the very ideals it promotes. Screens made from two-by-fours make up the building’s facade, with each side featuring unique spacing between the wood to accommodate its relation to the sun. The firm stated,...

Eco-friendly Zagbox snaps together in a pinch for unique multipurpose storage

May 27, 2016: Title: Zagbox: unique and beautiful containers for display and storage Body: Ikea-style flat pack meets eco-friendly design and simple assembly in Zagbox, which is a line of containers for household objects designed to be beautiful, useful, and environmentally…

Halfbike 2.1 combines all the best things about biking and running

May 27, 2016: Last year, Halfbike became the most funded vehicle on Kickstarter. Now, after refining and perfecting the original design, they are back with Halfbike 2.1. Combining all the best parts from bike riding, running and scooting, Halfbike is a completely new way to get around. According to the designers, Halfbike "awakens your natural instinct to move" and is as fun for commuting as it is for just riding around. To ride, you stand in a natural walking position, but unlike a bicycle or scooter, you use...

San Francisco's first community-built living wall is a drought-resistant masterpiece

May 27, 2016: We’re talking about an enormous wall of plants in California, where a severe drought has robbed residents of much-needed water for several years. With that in mind, Goldberg and her team at Planted Design created the 1,200-square-foot living mural from 3,200 native, drought-tolerant plants. The mural also includes an ingenious irrigation system, fed by a 1,350-gallon recirculating rainwater collection tank. Copper gutters and 200 feet of irrigation help keep the plants happy in the midst of a water...

Join Building Trust's 2016 workshop for a chance to design + build a new school hall in Sierra Leone

May 27, 2016: Those looking to gain experience in the field of architecture and humanitarian design will have the chance to partake in a hands-on workshop to design and build a new school hall in Sierra Leone. The project, which has been in development with Building Trust International and We Yone Child Foundation for the past two years, will allow interested participants to gain experience in humanitarian design and several sustainable building techniques and architectural styles. Prospective designers and builders...

IKEA reaches for net positive energy status in the next four years

May 27, 2016: IKEA, famed Swedish retailer after our own hearts, is taking a giant leap forward in the sustainability department. The chain has announced its goal to be “all in” to have a net positive impact on the environment with a multi-pronged strategy of renewable energy investments, energy efficiency techniques, emissions reductions in the supply chain. The company will even redesign some products to encourage more eco-friendly behaviors in its customers. The retailer’s efforts earned the company a...

Sparkly clean floating river pool proposed for Australia's polluted Yarra River

May 27, 2016: Waterway pools have been gaining popularity around the world. From New York City's proposed floating + POOL to river pools already built in Zurich, Berlin, and Paris, people are working around the fact that many city rivers are polluted. One such waterway is the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia. Non-profit Yarra Swim Co. is working to make the river 'swimmable' once more, and one way they're pursuing those goals is by working with Arup to develop a Yarra Pool. According to Yarra...

Foster + Partners' Droneport will launch aerial vehicles to deliver medical supplies in Africa

May 27, 2016: In their latest project, Foster + Partners switches gears from large-scale airports to something much smaller and unexpected: drones. The international design studio unveiled plans for the Droneport, a transit hub to support unmanned flying vehicles in the delivery of emergency supplies to remote areas in East Africa. Foster + Partners developed the Droneport proposal in collaboration with Afrotech, and has plans to complete the initial three buildings by 2020.

Donald Trump vows to nix Paris climate deal and pave way for Keystone XL pipeline

May 27, 2016: This week, Donald Trump became the presumed Republican nominee in the race to the White House, and almost immediately outlined an energy plan that could radically change the course of history. Speaking at an oil and natural gas conference in North Dakota on Thursday, Trump promised to withdraw the U.S. from the COP21 climate agreement, open up Atlantic offshore oil drilling, and welcome the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Effectively, Trump would reverse many key decisions...

The Soapbox: A plant is not just a plant

May 27, 2016: This week, Liza Mindemann, Park Manager of Stuyvesant Cove Park, wrote this op-ed for the local Town and Village newspaper, all about the importance of native plants like the ones we grow in the Park. Reblogged from the T&V blog: As many of you already……

Toyota Prius has the best gas mileage of any car Consumer Reports has ever tested

May 27, 2016: While the green car industry has been obsessed with the latest electric cars, like the Tesla Model 3, some mainstays, like the Toyota Prius hybrid continue to shine. Consumer Reports has just revealed that the all-new 2016 Prius has recorded the best gas mileage of any car in publication's history. With a combined 52 mpg rating the all-new Prius outperforms any other hybrid on the market without a plug. Last year Consumer Reports recorded a combined rating of only 44 mpg with the last...

Affordable Main Stay House in Austin keeps occupants cool without air conditioning

May 27, 2016: The Mayfair restaurant in London has commissioned four leading florists to create a gorgeous botanical installation that would celebrate the British countryside and reference the ongoing Chelsea Flower Show. The designers used birch, roses, foxgloves and lilies to form different, fairytale-like spaces under one roof. The The Flower Appreciation Society decorated the entrance to the restaurant, designed by James Wyatt in 1779, creating a beautiful passage leading visitors to the reception area....

Mars is emerging from a 400,000 year-old ice age

May 27, 2016: A new study has found that Mars is emerging from an ice age that ended about 400,000 years ago. While scientists have long believed that the planet has undergone several rounds of ice ages in the past, there have been few physical measurements to actually prove the theory. Now, the journal Science has published the first map of the red planet's ice deposits, along with confirmation of the planet's icy past. Just like Earth, researchers have found that Mars undergoes cycles of planetary...

Investment in energy storage vital if renewables to achieve full potential

May 27, 2016: Government subsidies should be used to encourage investment in energy storage systems if renewable power is to be fully integrated into the sector, according to researchers.

Tom Dixon transforms a 17th-century London church into a chic co-working space

May 27, 2016: The motivation behind the project began with Baughen’s desire to make the church more available to the daytime residents and creative workforce of Clerkenwell, an area in central London. The temporary intervention also gave Dixon the opportunity to display his new lighting and furniture products against a stunning historic backdrop with soaring ceilings and huge stained glass windows. “As the Church evolves and adapts to the new conditions of the 21st century, the opportunity of opening...

Molekule air filter annihilates pollutants at the molecular level

May 27, 2016: The new molecular air filtration system by Molekule is making big waves with its attention to the tiniest details. Not only does the filter trap nasty pollutants, it completely destroys them at a molecular level, including elements 1000 times smaller than what a HEPA filter can handle. It just might produce the purest air one can hope to have in their home. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_xXHAyYfqk Using an innovative technology dubbed Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO) the Molekule...

Leonardo DiCaprio and Arnold Schwarzenegger's foundations team up to combat climate change

May 27, 2016: Two organizations backed by Hollywood star power recently announced a partnership to pursue climate action. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation will give a grant of $650,000 to R20 Regions of Climate Action (R20), started by Arnold Schwarzenegger. According to a statement, the sum will go towards "renewable energy, energy efficiency, and waste management initiatives." Using the grant, R20 will identify green initiatives to benefit people around the world, construct projects, and then...

Montreal home expansion adds light and warmth without sacrificing an existing poplar tree

May 27, 2016: Located in Plateau Mont-Royal, the 1700-square-foot home expansion project was designed with primary consideration to preserving the large poplar rooted in the backyard. The addition would have to maintain respect for the centurion home’s original character while maximizing the space between the existing exterior wall and the root system of the enormous tree, which wasn’t much. It was a tall order, so Microclimat served up a tall solution. The three-level addition rises over the rear garden with...

TGH Architects Gives California's Hupomone Ranch a LEED Platinum Upgrade

May 26, 2016: With a nod toward a traditional barn house, Hupomone Ranch is clad with a peaked two story glass façade, which floods the interior with light while showcasing the rolling hills of the family’s property. On the ground floor, an open plan living room overlooks…

NOAA's LEED Gold marine research facility embodies San Diego's coast

May 26, 2016: Inspired by the topography of La Jolla Cove, this sustainable marine research facility appears to emerge from the contours of the coast, reshaping the relationship between marine scientists and their environment. An outgrowth of the effort to relocate an existing…

Vintage Eichler home receives open and airy remodel that preserves its roots

May 26, 2016: Specially known for their reverence for the famed Eichler homes, Klopf Architecture has helped one couple transform their cramped quarters into an open and inviting space. The team was able to give the space more modern flow, while still retaining its vintage appeal.   It was important to both the owners and the Klopf team to honor the Eichler design, but to also bring the space into the 21st century. Much of the original mahogany paneling and courtyard zinc wall panels were preserved, as...

An undulating brick roof in Iran that's made for walking

May 26, 2016: The building houses a retail space on the ground floor and offices on the upper level. Its undulating roof meets the pavement and function as a public space where people can walk, sit and play. The retail space invites passers-by to enter the building. Related: Traditional windows transform the facade of Tehran apartment building into art "I don't describe the roof as a staircase because stairs are an element that repeats, but this element has different scenarios, dynamics and qualities...

Multi-use Box Hyperactive sofa can be transformed to suit any space

May 26, 2016: The Hannabi Urban Nomad Box Hyperactive sofa system is a transforming sofa designed with first-time home buyers, those who move often or those who live in small spaces in mind. Urban Nomad allows for easy variability particularly if living space is at a premium. The four basic elements can be used for sleeping, lounging, having meals on and more - all with the size of a little couch. The mobile back-rest provides stable support while the two sides allow for multiple positions. The Urban Nomad is...

Husband and wife team designs timeless reclaimed wood structures

May 26, 2016: Established in 2002 by wife and husband designer-builders, Monica Reskala and Christopher Weiss, MRCW operates a 3200 sq. ft woodshop with extensive inventory of locally and sustainably harvested lumbers. Using mostly reclaimed woods, MRCW is a design & build practice dedicated to crafting beautiful, timeless structures. From architecture to landscape structures to furniture, design and construction go hand in hand, informing one another throughout the process. MRCW departs from a...

San Francisco nabs significant federal funding for hydrogen and fuel cell efforts

May 26, 2016: San Francisco's embrace of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies for local transportation just got a big boost from the federal government. The Energy Department's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) will direct nearly $4.5 million in funding for San Francisco's efforts to increase the deployment of fuel cell electric vehicles and hydrogen infrastructure. In addition, Strategic Analysis, Inc. was selected to analyze the cost competitiveness for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. DOE...

'Kinetic' rooftop garden uses pallets and plants to create the illusion of movement

May 26, 2016: The Kinetic Garden is located in the heart of Brera district in Milan. Piuarch used pallets to create triangular flower beds and flooring containing four plant species- two varieties of salad in red and green colors and two pansy in orange and blue. The plants are arranged in repetitive straight lines, defining strips of color that create an interesting chromatic effect. Related: Habitat Horticulture completes largest indoor living wall in California The arrangement of plants aims to create...

Brilliant diamond highway interchange eliminates dangerous lefthand turns

May 26, 2016: Just about every time we drive, we're forced to make left turns, risking head-on or 90-degree collisions with cars coming from the opposite direction. Left turns are dangerous but taken for granted. Yet this innovative highway interchange design, called a diverging diamond, avoids the hazardous turns altogether. It's been proven to significantly increase safety. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24jMVZszPTY Diverging diamond interchanges may appear complicated at first glance, but research...

Chile introduces world's first metro to be powered largely by renewables

May 26, 2016: Public transportation offers a sustainable alternative to masses of individual automobiles, yet many systems still run on unsustainable power sources. Chile's is particularly extensive: around 2.2 million people ride the Metro de Santiago every day. This week, President Michelle Bachelet announced that the country's mass transit system will soon be 60 percent powered by renewable energy. This is an exciting step for South America's second largest subway system in terms of length. Chile's...

Benthem Crouwel Architects named designer of new Paris airport metro station

May 26, 2016: In Paris, a major expansion project is underway on the city’s metro system. The new Grand Paris Express Ligne 17 is expected to be completed by 2024, and will include nine metro stations on its nearly 17-mile (27 km) route, which will serve two major airports. Société du Grand Paris, the agency overseeing the new metro line, has chosen Benthem Crouwel Architects to design the new metro station at the Charles de Gaulle Airport, which boasts more foreign destinations than any other airport in the...

Green high-rise keeps cool in sultry Singapore with passive design and living roofs

May 26, 2016: The tropical climate and dense urban area of Singapore demand housing that accommodates both factors. Each phase of this project’s planning takes into consideration the need for low-environmental impact cooling needs, down to which direction the buildings face. The Terraces feature apartments facing the distinct bisecting waterway and adorned with rippling Juliet balconies, which mimic casual waves on the buildings’ facades. Related: Sweden’s first round Passive House boasts an innovative...

Legend Solar Receives National, Local Award Recognitions

May 26, 2016: WASHINGTON, UT--(eSolarEnergyNews)--Legend Solar, one of the fastest-growing solar power providers in Utah, has received national recognition from one of the leading low-code app development platform companies, QuickBase.The company was honored as Small Business of the Year during the 2016 QuickBase Customer Awards, presented at EMPOWER 2016 in Nashville, Tenn. ‚ÄúThis fast-growing solar company…

This solar-powered Green Village in South Africa will be completely car-free

May 26, 2016: A new project by architecture firm Swisatec will break ground soon in Cape Town, South Africa, where the firm plans to build a self-contained, luxury "Green Village" that is the first of its kind on the entire continent. Taking up approximately 40 hectares of land, the village will contain 1,000 apartment units, as well as all the amenities its residents need to conduct their daily business, including doctors' offices, boutiques, schools, and more. While this may sound like any number of other luxury...

Studio Gang's Chicago farm school will teach kids how to grow their own organic food

May 26, 2016: Located in Chicago’s Garfield Ridge neighborhood, the AGC is a fast-growing K-8 Public Charter School that will soon welcome a pre-K program. To accommodate its growing student body, AGC hired Studio Gang to design a new campus that eschews traditional schooling for a model that encourages curiosity and embraces natural systems into everyday learning. As a result, the typical boxy classroom is traded for a series of indoor and outdoor learning environments grouped together into “learning neighborhoods”...

Four florists filled a London restaurant with luscious botanical art installations

May 26, 2016: The The Flower Appreciation Society decorated the entrance to the restaurant, designed by James Wyatt in 1779, creating a beautiful passage leading visitors to the reception area. Once they reach the restaurant's Gallery dining room via a staircase decorated with roses and various flowers, visitors can enjoy an area filled with vintage furniture designed by Martin Creed, featuring a wall lined with sketches by artist David Shringley. Related: Artisan Moss’ plant paintings effortlessly bring...

Despite protests, Poland commences logging in Europe's last primeval woodland

May 26, 2016: The Polish government has commenced controversial logging in the Bialowieza Forest, home to the European bison and 20,000 other wildlife species. The government claims it is logging to protect the forest, but environmental groups don't buy it. Greenpeace Poland and WWF Poland formally complained to the European Commission. According to Konrad Tomaszewski, national forest director, trees will be chopped down "to stop forest degradation" as a spruce bark beetle has infested some of the...

Light-filled dentist clinic shows how good design can calm patient fears

May 26, 2016: Like many medical environments, the LeXin dental clinic is dominated by white surfaces that give the interior a hygienic and pristine feel. However, Canon and Mengshu’s design notably departs from the norm with their unusual take on the reception room that looks more like a cozy living room rather than the typical waiting room. Floor cushions, a variety of seating styles, and ample natural light help create a calming home-like environment. Related: Shift Architecture + Urbanism Transforms...

See inside NYC's first micro apartment building + transforming furniture for tiny spaces

May 26, 2016: http://inhabitat.com/?s=%22nyc+media%22 + Urban Green + NYC Media…

VIDEO: How to install Voltaic solar panels on your car

May 26, 2016: In the old days, if you wanted a solar panel, you had to buy one of those giant clunky things that were not only pricey, but also a real pain in the you-know-what to install. But times have changed, thanks to companies like Voltaic Systems who are leading…

14 green furniture designs using reclaimed, recycled or rapidly renewable materials

May 25, 2016: Fiber Chair by MUUTO Designer Iskos-Berlin at MUUTO combines midcentury modern with a modern flair. The fiber chair is made from Microfiber, form-pressed composition of plastic and wood fibers from left over from furniture scraps. Look closely and you can see the beautiful gradient of colors in throughout the smooth finish. Terrace Table by Lubo Design What do you get when you take apart an old barn? Lubo Brezina's amazing Terrace Table. Pieces of an old barn floor are harmoniously arranged...