TAG: Solar panels

How To Make Steel Blend Into The Landscape

How To Make Steel Blend Into The Landscape

Located in the hills in California, this home from Barton Myers Associates is a model for seamlessly merging cold construction materials organically into the landscape. Comprised mostly of steel and concrete, the Montecito Residence is uniquely situated on a tricky arboreal and rugged plot. While the topography is gorgeous, wild and includes thick greenery, huge onsite boulders and oak trees, it was likely a challenge to begin plans as to how to position a home on the site. For the build the architectural team had a home in mind that could be replicated and mass produced with materials like exposed… read more

Innovative Architecture Amidst The Trees

Innovative Architecture Amidst The Trees

Konrad Wójcik, an architecture student with WK Design, created a model of a unique home for a project. The goal was to develop a fully sustainable structure with a minimal imprint during the building process, and to maintain this after completion. Receiving the honor of a special mention, the conceptual idea for the tree line structure is a futuristic and highly interesting model. Called Primeval Symbiosis, the Single Pole House, they are built with wood and modeled after a naturally genius design – trees. The abstract development’s goal is to remain in balance with its surroundings, and floating along the… read more

Solar Power for a Dollar a Day

Solar Power for a Dollar a Day

Solar power for our own homes seems like an unattainable dream for many of us, as we aren’t in a position to come up with a big chunk of change to buy a solar PV array, even if it might mean that eventually, we get free electricity for life. And if we’re renters, not owners, then investing in a solar array for our home doesn’t make a lot of sense, as we’re not able to make ‘permanent’ improvements to the dwelling, when we’ll eventually just move on. But a new mobile solar power array might be the way to go,… read more

Supercharging Solar

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For many decades, researchers have investigated various methods to double the power output of solar cells by making use of “hot electrons”. Recently researchers at Boston College have provided new experimental evidence that this theory will work. The team built solar cells that get a power boost from high-energy photons. This boost, the researchers say, is the result of extracting hot electrons which are normally wasted in typical solar cells. The results are a step forward for solar cells that break conventional efficiency limits. Because of the way ordinary solar cells work they can, in theory, convert at most about 35%… read more

A Smart All in One Solar Solution for Everyone

A Smart All in One Solar Solution for Everyone

Choosing to meet at least some of your power needs with a renewable energy source is high on the list of desirable eco-actions for many of us, but the cost to get started, as well as the somewhat complex nature of installing a solar panel system can be a bit daunting. After all, not only do you need to understand your power needs, and match them to a right-sized solar array, but you’ve also got to understand about wiring and currents (your household uses AC, whereas solar panels generate DC) and energy storage options. That can be a lot to… read more

Lovely Lots From A Top Sustainable Architect Firm

Lovely Lots From A Top Sustainable Architect Firm

Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects have quite a repertoire of projects on their completion list. A range of captivating structures including residential, commercial and community focused have made them one of the most impressive firms in their field. Also, winning the top spot in sustainability and 28th overall in this year’s Architect 50 doesn’t hurt in gaining them some attention, either. This is the 3rd year in a row that they have made the list. Many of their creations are economically inclined, but definitely not short on the sustainable scale. They also have an emphasis on research driven designs with pilot… read more

Solar Hybrid Bicycle Concept Could be Ultimate E-Bike

Solar Hybrid Bicycle Concept Could be Ultimate E-Bike

What’s a greener transportation option than an electric bicycle? An electric bicycle outfitted with solar panels, that’s what. This solar hybrid e-bike concept, from designer Mojtaba Raeisi, eschews spokes in the wheels in favor of circular solar panels that can be tilted to catch the sun when parked, providing power from solar energy to energize the bike. According to Yanko Design, the bike is designed to be either pedaled manually, with electric assist, or fully electric, which would give riders the option that best suits the situation. The small size of the solar panels seems like it might severely limit… read more

Gorgeous Kona Residence Highlights Hawaiian Living

Gorgeous Kona Residence Highlights Hawaiian Living

The Kona Residence by the Belzberg Architects Group is an award winning residential design. Its relaxed but artful mix of reclaimed teak woods and the open layout take advantage of the area’s climate and natural outdoor beauty. The exterior was built with salvaged woods from out of use train tracks and barns. The home is equipped with solar panels on 2 sections of the roof. There is also a rainwater collection system. Lava rock is worked in the landscaping near the wraparound infinity pool which helps to absorb sunlight into the stones and the solar transfer assists to heat up the… read more

These 4 Office Pods Put Function To Work

These 4 Office Pods Put Function To Work

According to the 2010 U.S. census report, 10% of employed Americans work at least 1 day per week from home, and the numbers of those who work solely from home has climbed from 4.8% in 1997 to 6.6% in 2010. Having a productive space is important whether at home or at the office. These 4 work pods with ecofriendly features may leave some dreaming of a quiet, accommodating place to complete tasks. The G-Pod is a workspace with a futuristic look. In addition to its interesting external appearance, it is also made with efficiency in mind. It can be rotated by… read more

Solar Panels Will Soon Make Utilities Obsolete

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In a report released last January, the Edison Electric Institute heralds in relatively blatant terms a great success in renewable energy – and the impending death of utility companies. The news comes as utilities face the risk of losing customers to renewables due to rate reductions and technological innovation. Utilities have remained predominantly unchanged for the better part of a century, with no real competition. As such, the growing prosperity of renewable sources may find them ill-equipped to concoct a plan for battling their losses. Instead, it appears they’ll dedicate time to preserving the ‘integrity’ of their image and product…. read more