This foldable, solar-powered skyscraper provides instant shelter in disaster zones

May 1, 2018 by  
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Skyshelter.zip is a mobile skyscraper that can be folded and transported to natural disaster zones . Polish designers Damian Granosik, Jakub Kulisa and Piotr Pa?czyk envisioned the design as a compact multi-purpose shelter that provides food, energy, and water and can be deployed using minimal manpower in the shortest possible amount of time. The project won first place at this year’s eVolo Skyscraper Competition . Its versatility and pragmatic design make it a great solution for crisis management in regions struck by earthquakes , floods or hurricanes. Damaged infrastructure can make it extremely difficult to respond efficiently to emergencies. The designers tried to address this issue by proposing a compact structure with a large floor surface that can quickly and easily be transported anywhere. Skyshelter.zip has a much smaller footprint compared to tents and containers, which are typically used during emergencies. This means that less site preparation is needed prior to setting up camp, which is extremely significant in densely populated areas. Related: This futuristic vertical factory feeds off a city’s waste to produce energy The skyscraper is designed to stand even on unstable soil. Light-weight 3D-printed slabs and structural steel wires function as load-bearers. Pieces of fabric attached to the main structure constitute the internal and external walls. The building envelope would be made with a nanomaterial based on ETFE foil and small, connected perovskite solar cells. This way, the building can produce clean energy even during times of disaster. The structure is also topped with a balloon that can collect and clean rainwater . The skyscraper can also provide first aid, temporary housing or storage, and it’s designed to host a vertical farm made from excavated soil. + eVolo

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This foldable, solar-powered skyscraper provides instant shelter in disaster zones

Russia just launched a 70 MW floating nuclear power plant to the Arctic Ocean

May 1, 2018 by  
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Russia recently launched a floating nuclear power station on the Baltic Sea. The 70-megawatt Akademik Lomonosov plant will journey north around Norway to the Arctic town Pevek, and it could ultimately provide power for around 100,000 people . However some fear its environmental impact — Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe nuclear expert Jan Haverkamp referred to the plant as a “nuclear Titanic”. “Nuclear reactors bobbing around the Arctic Ocean will pose a shockingly obvious threat to a fragile environment which is already under enormous pressure from climate change ,” Haverkamp said in a statement . State-owned company Rosatom built the Akademik Lomonosov, which has been in the works for years. The floating nuclear plant has two reactors and is towed by two boats. Akademik Lomonosov will replace the Bilibino nuclear power plant, constructed in 1974, and the 70-year-old Chaunskaya Thermal Power Plant. Ars Technica said Bilibino was once the world’s northernmost nuclear power station, and the Akademik Lomonosov will claim that title when it starts operating. Related: NASA just unveiled a tiny nuclear reactor for future Mars residents In Pevek, construction of onshore infrastructure is underway. The pier, hydraulic engineering structures and other buildings important for mooring will be ready to go when Akademik Lomonosov arrives. The plant will provide electricity for remote industrial plants, port cities and offshore oil and gas platforms. Rosatom said the nuclear processes at the floating plant “meet all requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency and do not pose any threat to the environment .” But environmental groups aren’t happy. Haverkamp said, “Contrary to claims regarding safety, the flat-bottomed hull and the floating nuclear power plant’s lack of self-propulsion makes it particularly vulnerable to tsunamis and cyclones .” This isn’t the world’s first floating nuclear power station. The United States had a floating nuclear plant between 1968 and 1975 in Panama that powered nearby communities and the military during the Vietnam War. + Rosatom + Greenpeace Via Ars Technica and Engadget Images © Nicolai Gontar/Greenpeace ( 1 , 2 )

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Russia just launched a 70 MW floating nuclear power plant to the Arctic Ocean

California Drought Endangers Napa Valley Wine Production

February 7, 2014 by  
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Agriculture around the world is suffering due to climate change , and famous grape-producing regions are being crushed by unpredictable weather patterns, drought, and increased global demand for alcohol. California’s Napa Valley in particular is suffering from the state’s severe lack of rainfall, and vineyard owners are already predicting a much smaller harvest for 2014. Read the rest of California Drought Endangers Napa Valley Wine Production Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: California , california drought , Climate Change , crop insurance , global warming , grape harvest , grape vines , napa valley , napa valley vintners association , perennial plant , precipitation , rainfall , underground aquifer , vermont , wine industry , wine production        

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California Drought Endangers Napa Valley Wine Production

How to Grow More Food: Grow Fewer Plants, Do Less Stuff

August 26, 2011 by  
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Image credit: Sami Grover The garden above looks pitiful, doesn’t it? I’m a little embarassed to confess that it is mine. When I wrote about the single most important tool in a square foot gardeners’ potting shed , I noted that I was planning on taking a break from gardening, and then coming back with a much smaller, more intensive, and carefully planned for minimum maintenance garden. This is all part of the lazivore philosophy of gardening —less is often… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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How to Grow More Food: Grow Fewer Plants, Do Less Stuff

DARPA plans to develop batteries smaller than a grain of sand

October 21, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor: Small batteries pack large potential energy densities.

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DARPA plans to develop batteries smaller than a grain of sand

GE’s hybrid halogen-CFL light bulbs reach full luminescence in no time

October 21, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor: Hybrid halogen CFLs cut back on warm-up period to save energy. While it’s usually annoying to see standard compact fluorescents (CFLs) taking so much time for heating up before they could actually serve you with full luminescence, General Electric’s newly unveiled halogen compact fluorescent light bulbs, i.e. GE Reveal and GE Energy Smart Soft, take less than a second to do so

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GE’s hybrid halogen-CFL light bulbs reach full luminescence in no time

Eco-turistical Center integrates natural surroundings and human lifestyle

October 21, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor : Sustainable design offers commercial and recreational opportunities in urban environs . HAY! Tráfico Workshop has proposed an Eco-turistical Center for the Mexican City of Tlaxcala built on land susceptible to private encroachment and bringing them under community use.

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Eco-turistical Center integrates natural surroundings and human lifestyle

Massive New Tidal Turbine is World’s Largest

August 13, 2010 by  
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The world’s largest tidal turbine, standing more than 5 stories tall, has been unveiled in Scotland before being installed in the waters off Orkney later this summer. The Atlantis Resources Corporation’s AT-1000 turbine is 22.5 meters (73 feet) tall and has a rotor diameter of 18 meters (59 feet) and weighs 130 tonnes. It will produce 1 MW of power from a water velocity of 2.65 meters (8.7 feet) per second

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Massive New Tidal Turbine is World’s Largest

First Test of Wind-to-Battery Storage Is a Success

August 12, 2010 by  
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Xcel Energy has been testing the first grid-scale battery storage system in the United States at an 11-megawatt wind farm in western Minnesota. The company’s recently released interim report (PDF) indicates that this type of storage can be useful to the Smart Grid and can aid in the deployment of wind power

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First Test of Wind-to-Battery Storage Is a Success

Goodbye Cruel World – Ants Save Mates from Danger & Macaque Grandmas Nurse Their Grandchildren

November 23, 2009 by  
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Sometimes nature isn’t so harsh and here are two stories as example: BBC News reports that two grandmother macaques have been observed nursing and caring for their grandchildren, the first time such caring behavior has been unambiguously documented; on a much smaller scale,

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Goodbye Cruel World – Ants Save Mates from Danger & Macaque Grandmas Nurse Their Grandchildren

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