Alternative Energy

Solar Power News

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

Mar 23, 2017

Solar Energy

Origami-like alpine cabin brings contemporary style to Chile's mountains

Mar 22, 2017: Alpine architecture has evolved far beyond traditional chalets, as can be seen in this contemporary cabin perched high above in Chile's Valparaíso Region. Architect Gonzalo Iturriaga completed the blackened pine cabin, named RF C9, on a rocky site near the commune of San Esteban. Like a piece of origami, the angular refuge has numerous folds, some of which are turned into glazed openings that frame spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Elevated off the uneven ground, the 60-square-meter...

6 delightful tiny library designs from around the world

Mar 22, 2017: In over 50,000 neighborhoods in 70 different countries, children and adults can check out books for free from tiny libraries. The organization behind these free exchanges, Little Free Library, held a Little Free Library Design Competition that drew an astonishing 300 designs from 40 countries. Several of the libraries have sustainable components, some take into account height differences between kids and grownups, and others are just plain fun. Check out the winners after the jump. Related:...

Ultra-green house in Seattle marries aesthetics and sustainability

Mar 22, 2017: The ultra-green house in Seattle utilizes efficient building systems and sustainable design principles to achieve the highest energy standards while offering practical, modern living spaces for a family of four. Shed Architecture & Design designed the Madrona Passive House as a net zero residence for former Microsoft program manager and renowned environmental advocate Jabe Blumenthal and his family. With a super-insulated envelope and passive design features such as heat recovery systems, photovoltaics,...

LEED Platinum housing development helps fight gentrification in Philadelphia

Mar 22, 2017: Can architects design attractive homes for developing areas that won’t feed into gentrification? That’s what Interface Studio Architects (ISA) set off to achieve in Folsom Powerhouse, a LEED Platinum-certified development in Philadelphia. Located in the city’s rapidly developing Francisville neighborhood, the Powerhouse scheme combines environmentally friendly features with community-minded design that encourages diversity, density, and social spaces. Made up of 31 units, Folsom...

6 ways to add passive solar features to your home

Mar 22, 2017:   Sick of solar panels and wind turbines being expensive because of all those fossil fuel subsidies? Looking for a way to reduce that electric bill, lower your carbon footprint, and show off to your neighbors? The good news is that you don't have…

7,000 methane gas bubbles in Siberia on the verge of exploding

Mar 22, 2017: Remember the crazy bubbling tundra in Siberia displayed in a surreal video last summer? Scientists thought the weird phenomenon was due to methane from melting permafrost, and now 7,000 of those bubbles could explode soon. The bursts could result in small potholes - or large craters.

Self-sustaining bacteria-fueled power cell created

Mar 22, 2017: Researchers have developed the next step in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) with the first micro-scale self-sustaining cell, which generated power for 13 straight days through symbiotic interactions of two types of bacteria.

Ultrafast measurements explain quantum dot voltage drop

Mar 22, 2017: Solar cells and photodetectors could soon be made from new types of materials based on semiconductor quantum dots, thanks to new insights based on ultrafast measurements capturing real-time photoconversion processes.

Flexible new solar panel is almost 80% lighter than traditional panels

Mar 22, 2017: Solar panels just got a lot slimmer. Renewable energy businessman Zhengrong Shi, a.k.a. the Sun King, is now marketing eArche, a super flexible, ultrathin solar panel that could stretch along building facades, atop buses, or on top of carports to charge electric cars. According to Shi, the revolutionary panel has unlimited potential.

Wright Electric unveils revolutionary plan for 150-seat electric passenger plane

Mar 22, 2017: Electric cars now prowl our roads, but few electric planes fly the skies. Startup Wright Electric plans to change that. They're working on a commercial, 150-seat passenger airplane powered by batteries. This week they unveiled their idea at Y Combinator's Demo Day.

Swedish researchers develop low-cost wood filter to purify water in refugee camps

Mar 22, 2017: Around the world, many people lack access to clean water, such as in refugee camps, where there's little or no infrastructure to purify water. KTH Royal Institute of Technology researchers may have come up with an answer to that dire problem. They're working on a portable water filter that wouldn't require a power source.

Trump plans to strip NASAs earth science division, promote mission to Mars

Mar 22, 2017:   On Tuesday, President Donald Trump signed a new plan for NASA’s future into law: the NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017. The law calls for a $19.5 billion annual budget for the agency – not a major change from the agency’s $19.3 billion budget in 2016 – but the document seems to leave out the agency’s earth science division entirely. Trump claims this is simply a way of reaffirming the agency’s “core mission” of human space exploration, space science, and technology,...

Envision Solar Receives More Follow-on Orders from Caltrans for EV ARC™ Solar Powered EV Chargers

Mar 21, 2017: SAN DIEGO, CA--(eSolarEnergyNews) - Envision Solar, the leading renewably energized EV charging, outdoor media and energy security products company, announced that Caltrans has issued more repeat purchase orders for the Company's EV ARC™ product to provide EV charging infrastructure and emergency power. Caltrans has previously purchased EV ARC™ products for EV charging at locations across…

Inflatable spiky pinecone-shaped roofs top this forest resort in Latvia

Mar 21, 2017: Spiky ETFE roofs top this airy forest resort and spa located in a historic region of Kurzeme, Latvia, making it look like a settlement from a movie. 3GATTI Architecture Studio and OFL Architecture teamed up to design the Pinecones Resort using sustainable construction techniques and prefabrication which resulted in a fairytale-like woodland setting in harmony with its natural surroundings. The resort comprises cone-shaped units with inflatable roofs made from 100% recyclable ETFE that...

SunPower is Leading Solar Panel Provider in First Round French Tender

Mar 21, 2017: PARIS, FRANCE--(eSolarEnergyNews)-- SunPower announced today that, in the first round of France's tender process for large-scale solar power, the company will supply 31 percent of the solar panels required for the awarded solar projects, more than any other solar panel brand. In total, SunPower will provide 130 megawatts of its high efficiency SunPower® E-Series solar panels for installation at…

Historic Dutch nursery transformed into stunning solar-powered home

Mar 21, 2017: A stunning solar-powered home has emerged from the bones of a former school for infants in Leiden, the Netherlands. Design firm ATELIER SPACE completed the beautiful adaptive reuse project, taking care to preserve historic elements while imbuing fresh contemporary touches to the renovation. Energy efficiency was a major focus in the redesign, which includes energy-saving features such as improved insulation, underfloor heating, and home automation. Built in 1925, the historic brick...

Revealing the microscopic mechanisms in perovskite solar cells

Mar 21, 2017: In just a few years, researchers have achieved remarkable power conversion efficiency with materials with perovskite crystal structure, comparable with the best photovoltaic materials available. Now, researchers have revealed the physics for how an important component of a perovskite solar cell works -- a finding that could lead to improved solar cells or even newer and better materials.

World's most efficient, environment-friendly solar cells

Mar 21, 2017: In the future, solar cells can become twice as efficient by employing a few smart little nano-tricks, suggest investigators in a new report.

Mexico-sized algae bloom in the Arabian Sea connected to climate change

Mar 21, 2017: When you consider the consequences of climate change, you might think of rising sea levels or hotter temperatures. Algae blooms likely don't top your list, but in the Arabian Sea, scientists are connecting an algae bloom the size of Mexico to climate change. The massive bloom can be seen from space.

German coal mine set to become "giant battery" for storing renewable energy

Mar 21, 2017:   Proving that coal mining still does have a use in this era of widespread divestment and shifting away from coal power, a German coal mine is about to be turned into essentially a massive battery for storing electricity from renewable energy sources. The Prosper-Haniel hard coal mine in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia that provided coal power to German industry since it opened in 1974 will soon be turned into a 200-megawatt pumped-storage hydroelectric reservoir. When completed the...

Boston public schools phase in new map to decolonize curriculum

Mar 21, 2017: The map on which you learned geography probably isn't as accurate as you thought. For nearly 500 years, classrooms have drawn on the Mercator projection, a map devised in 1569. But now Boston public schools are switching over to the Gall-Peters projection, which could dramatically alter worldviews.

Breathtaking seaside hotel in Thailand practices radical reuse, grows 100% of its produce

Mar 21, 2017: Situated on its own private bay along the Northern Coast of Koh Samui, Thailand, the award-winning hotel grows all of its own produce on site and turns 100% of its food waste into fertilizer, food for the island's stray cats and dogs, and a cleaning solution for guest rooms.

Former Patagonia CEO announces largest land donation in history

Mar 21, 2017: The country of Chile just received a huge gift - from former Patagonia CEO Kris Tompkins. Tompkins Conservation, the organization she founded with her late husband conservationist Douglas Tompkins, just pledged to create 11 million acres of national parkland in the country. The organization says this is the "largest land donation in history from a private entity to a country."…

Coming soon: NYC's first community solar project

Mar 21, 2017: A company based in Toronto is bringing New York City its first community solar project. UGE International, one of the world's leading renewable-energy contractors, will be partnering with Gotham Community Solar to develop an array at a multi-tenant commercial facility between the Park Slope and Boerum Hill neighborhoods in Brooklyn. The project, which is scheduled to be completed early summer, will have a rated peak capacity of roughly 100 kilowatts, according to UGE, which anticipates selling any...

EPA official accused of killing investigation into Monsanto weedkiller

Mar 21, 2017: An EPA official who’d been placed in charge of evaluating the cancer risk of Monsanto’s popular Roundup weedkiller has been accused of conspiring with the company to “kill” the study. Jess Rowland, the former manager of the agency’s pesticide division, is rapidly becoming an important figure in the more than 20 lawsuits that have piled up accusing the company of burying evidence that its herbicide can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup...

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Trump's anti-science budget will make America stupid again

Mar 21, 2017: President Donald Trump's proposed budget eviscerates government funding for basic scientific research and development, taking a sledge hammer to education, health and environmental protection. In a series of Tweets posted this Sunday, astrophysicist and TV host Neil deGrasse indirectly took on Trump's budget, writing that making America great won't happen until we make America smart again by increasing government funding, not by ignoring the scientific consensus on man-made global warming and slashing...

ScottWhitbyStudio transforms a shipping container into a pop-up cinema

Mar 21, 2017: We’ve seen shipping containers repurposed into everything from homes to museums, but ScottWhitbyStudio’s recent cargotecture creation marks the first pop-up cinema that we’ve heard of. The London-based architecture and creative consultancy converted a single container into Caution Cinema, an immersive and funky movie theater as part of the ‘Beyond Zero’ health and safety campaign. The mobile cinema plays instructional videos to promote vital dockside safety information to port employees...

IKEA Adds Fuel Cell System to Generate More Onsite Power at New Haven, Connecticut Store

Mar 21, 2017: NEW HAVEN, CT--(eSolarEnergyNews)--With Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy and Bloom Energy Chief Commercial Officer Bill Kurtz on-hand, IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today ‘flipped-the-switch’ on its first fuel cell system on the east coast, at its store in New Haven, CT. Furthering the Swedish retailer’s investment in fuel cell technology, this project complements the…

LAST CHANCE: Inhabitat is giving away an Avocado Green Mattress

Mar 20, 2017: We spend one third of our lives sleeping, but how many of us have taken the time to learn what's inside our mattresses? Studies have found that conventional mattresses contain dangerous levels of volatile organic compounds and could be the source of many ailments, including chronic allergies, asthma, endocrine problems and even cancer. Not to mention the fact that once traditional mattresses bit the dust, they're synthetic materials cannot be broken down. That's enough to cause anyone to have insomnia....

Solar Farm Developer Selling Over $10Billion-7.5GW's of Premier Projects

Mar 20, 2017: ASHEVILLE, N.C., --(eSolarEnergyNews)-- Innovative Solar Systems has just announced the Sales Offering of over 7.5 Gigawatts (GW's) of premier, high return Solar Farm projects here in the United States. ISS has become the single largest developer of Utility Scale Solar Farms in the US and has a revolving pipeline of projects that equate to well over 5GW's per year now. Solar Farms have become the…

Turn any bike into an e-bike with UrbanX's drop-in wheel

Mar 20, 2017: Want an electric bicycle but already have a bike? UbranX created a drop-in wheel that can turn any old bicycle into a cool e-bike. The wheel only take around one minute to install.

Beautiful P+R building can house hundreds of bicycles in the Netherlands

Mar 20, 2017: Park and ride buildings aren’t often beautiful, but this recently completed facility in Zutphen is a stunning exception. MoederscheimMoonen Architects created the stylish P+R facility near a railway station in the Netherlands’ Noorderhaven district. Built to reference the town’s industrial past, the contemporary building accommodates 375 parking spaces and has spots for over 600 bicycles. Located next to the town’s train station, the unique park and ride structure pays homage to...

Dominion Announces Two Large-Scale Solar Energy Projects in South Carolina

Mar 20, 2017: RICHMOND, VA. --(eSolarEnergyNews)-- Dominion today announced that it plans to construct, own and operate 81 megawatts (AC) of solar generating capacity in Jasper County, S.C. Two projects – a 71.4-megawatt facility that would be South Carolina's largest and a 10-megawatt array – are expected to enter service in 2017. "Dominion is excited to work with a number of partners – including Solvay and…

Artist's incredibly realistic stone animals are begging to be cuddled

Mar 20, 2017: Japanese “stone artist” Akie Nakatas has used her amazing skills to paint realistic animals onto smooth rocks of all shapes and sizes. http://mymodernmet.com/akie-nakata-stone-animal-paintings/   Related: These artists create mind-bending artwork solely from autumn leaves   Akie’s entire collection of detailed animal paintings are available to view on Instagram, Facebook, and her website. + Akie Nakatas Via Laughing Squid Akie Nakatas, japanese stone...

Stunning mountain passive house uses burnt cedar cladding

Mar 20, 2017: Tucked into the dramatically-sloping mountainside near historic Park City, Utah sits a modern, passive solar dream home marked by its plunging roof. The 2100 square foot home features a bevy of environmentally-friendly features, including shou sugi ban cedar cladding that helps keep the home comfortable while helping it blend into the rugged surroundings.

Dubai Solar Park Adds 200 MW of Solar Power Generation

Mar 20, 2017: DUBAI, UAE--(eSolarEnergyNews)--HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has inaugurated the 200 megawatt (MW) second phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The project reflects a new era in the excellence and leadership of the UAE, as it increases the share of clean and renewable energy. The inauguration coincided…

New biofuel from wastewater slashes vehicle CO2 emissions by 80%

Mar 20, 2017: In Spain, two businesses are pioneering a new sustainable biofuel for cars. Car company SEAT and water management company Aqualia Wastewater have transformed into alternative fuel under the LIFE+ Methamorphosis project. Powered with biofuel produced during one year at one treatment plan, a vehicle could circumnavigate the globe 100 times.

Rammed earth school in Vietnam blooms like a colorful jungle flower

Mar 20, 2017: The far reaches of northern Vietnam are beautiful but heartbreakingly poor. Children of the Hmong ethnic minority who live in the villages routinely suffer from lack of access to healthcare and education. Vietnamese architecture firm 1+1>2 has provided a ray of hope for those in Lung Luong village in the remote Thai Nguyen Province with the construction of a beautiful new school made from local materials including rammed earth and bamboo. The school’s beautiful swooping and colorful form is an...

Diapers, sanitary products could provide alternative fuel source

Mar 20, 2017: Via the Guardian Photo by Unsplash…

2017 Honda Clarity fuel cell vehicle is ready for the mainstream

Mar 20, 2017: Fuel-cell vehicles are still pretty foreign to most of us, especially if you don’t live in California, since they aren’t sold in anywhere else in the U.S. While automakers, like General Motors, Hyundai, Toyota and Honda have been working on the technology for decades, we’ve yet to see a model that could bring the technology more mainstream. Toyota got closer with the new Mirai, but Honda may have just gotten even closer to increasing the public’s acceptance of fuel-cell vehicles with the...

Google Street View takes you inside the fiery depths of an active volcano

Mar 20, 2017: Have you ever seen an active volcano up close? Most of us haven't had the opportunity, but now thanks to Google Street View you can glimpse the fiery depths of one the world's biggest boiling lava lakes on the island on Ambrym in Vanuatu, a country of islands around one thousand miles away from Australia. Two explorers repelled down into a crater to collect images of the lava lake for Google.

Liquid storage of solar energy: More effective than ever before

Mar 20, 2017: Researchers have demonstrated efficient solar energy storage in a chemical liquid. The stored energy can be transported and then released as heat whenever needed, they say.

San Diego brewery unveils beer made from 100% recycled wastewater

Mar 20, 2017: San Diego is aiming to to be the most environmentally sustainable city in the United States. As part of its ambitious Climate Action Plan, last year the city council unanimously approved a $3 billion initiative to recycle wastewater for drinking. Now the city is demonstrating that the pure water program can be used for just about anything, even a cold beer, by partnering with Stone Brewery to unveil Stone Full Circle Pale Ale…

Artisanal clay pots from Egypt can water your plants for up to a month

Mar 20, 2017: Gardeners who travel will love these absorbent clay pots from Egypt. Modeled after the Olla, an ancient ceramic pot prevalent throughout North Africa, the small vessels are designed to water plants for weeks at a time--using nothing but gravity. Clayola founder Rami Halim says 20 liters (5 gallons) of water will keep six to eight plants alive for up to a month. The Clayola pots, connected via a pipe to a large water source at a slightly higher elevation, are pushed into the soil until...

Autonomous robotic garden drives itself around the city in search of sun

Mar 19, 2017: https://vimeo.com/163436492 Designed by UCL students William Victor Camilleri and Danilo Sampaio under the supervision of the Interactive Architecture Lab’s director Ruairi Glynn, Hortum machina, B draws inspiration from Buckminster Fuller’s landmark book ‘Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth’ and his geodesic domes. The mobile ecosystem uses a network of electrodes to monitor the garden’s physiological responses to the environment and then, using this data, propels the sphere into motion....

Futuristic Dutch community features 50 out-of-this world spherical homes

Mar 19, 2017: Although it might look like the set of a science fiction film, this neighborhood in the Netherlands was built by humans for humans. Dutch artist and sculptor Dries Kreijkamp designed this unusual apartment community, dubbed the Bolwoningen (“ball” or “bulb”). Built in 1984, the residential development is comprised of 50 of these futuristic spherical structures grouped together amid walkways and trees, alongside a scenic canal. http://www.ignant.de/2016/10/05/the-bolwoningen-by-dries-kreijkamp/ More Kreijkamp...

Make these easy zucchini fries for a tasty snack this weekend

Mar 19, 2017: If you are looking for an easy, tasty snack this weekend, check out these zucchini fries. They are super simple to whip up and are much healthier than fried potatoes. Click on for the recipe. READ MORE >…

New $150 gadget lets your smartphone detect cancer with laboratory precision

Mar 19, 2017: While smartphone spectrometers are already being used to help detect cancer, they have only been able to evaluate one sample at a time, making the work slow and tedious. A breakthrough by a Washington State University research team led to the creation of a low-cost multichannel smartphone spectrometer that uses optical sensors to scan multiple samples simultaneously. The team, led by Lei Li, assistant professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, found their spectrometer to be...