BREAKING NEWS: Tesla unveils groundbreaking new solar roof system

October 29, 2016 by  
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Residential solar is quickly becoming a booming business, especially in sunny California – but there are still many challenges for solar installers when it comes to the logistics of bolting photovoltaic panels to the tops of homeowners roofs; old roofing materials, surfaces that aren’t even and setback regulations all limit the amount of panels and ultimate efficiency of rooftop solar. Elon Musk wanted to innovate and improve upon the current practice of bolting solar panels to the top of your roof, and he’s just shattered the mold with the unveiling of some groundbreaking new designs for roof-integrated solar rooftop tiles . The idea is that integrated photovoltaic roof panels will provide more electric power, beauty and efficiency than the old tack-on method. That’s because, in part, because you can fit a lot more on to the top of your roof. Also, since homeowners will now be able to integrate their entire roofing with solar, they will be able to create a more elegant roof design, and installation will become easier and more desirable. Now when homeowners upadte their roof, they can automatically update to photovoltaic roof tiles, instead of having to work with 2 sets of different contractors to set up a home solar system. In August, Tesla and SolarCity agreed to a 2.6 billion dollar merger . Tesla and SolarCity might seem like companies with pretty disparate goals – one makes cars and the other manages home energy. But they both have a long-term vision of moving the planet away from fossil fuels. So it makes sense that they would unite under one umbrella. Musk said, “That [Telsa and SolarCity] are separate at all, despite similar origins and pursuit of the same overarching goal of sustainable energy, is largely an accident of history.” Related: Tesla and SolarCity just agreed on a $2.6 billion merger Today’s announcement was the perfect opportunity for Musk to illustrate how the merger makes not just good sense for the environment, but good financial sense, too. It’s also an opportunity to show how Musk’s vision is a new step for solar. His plan involves an integrated solar panel/roof system, rather than the typical solar-panel-on-roof system. Musk said that this is “a fundamental part of achieving a differentiated product strategy.” The system will utilize Tesla’s Powerwall , which can store enough energy to power a home on the sunlight gathered during the day. + Tesla

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BREAKING NEWS: Tesla unveils groundbreaking new solar roof system

Liberland may be the world’s first sovereign nation powered by algae

June 2, 2016 by  
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The winning proposal is a pedestrian-friendly design that supports a growing populace with stackable horizontal structures. Called Inverted Archeology, this groundbreaking technique constructs the city-state in consecutive temporal layers to form a self-sufficient, compact, dense, integrated and resilient urban fabric. Algae, strains of which don’t require significant sunlight to proliferate, would be grown on the underside of buildings to provide a clean source of energy . The design specifically creates an environment that is conducive to innovation, ensuring that all citizens – regardless of their ethnicity, race, age, gender or profession – have every opportunity to reach their full potential and participate collectively in financial gains. Related: The world’s first algae-powered building in Hamburg The RAW-NYC team led by Raya Ani comprised of an interdisciplinary group of collaborators from around the world, including – for full disclosure – the author of this post. “The team makeup and the design process was quite interesting and challenging at the same time,” Ani told Inhabitat. “To bring people together from different backgrounds substantiated our ideas and enriched the design process.” “The main vision was to balance density with quality of life. We wanted to address density differently than defaulting to skyscrapers, where connections between buildings occur only on the ground level. We wanted the city to be built one horizontal layer at a time, where it’s possible to walk everywhere and everything is connected. The horizontal layers are stacked in a staggered configuration to ensure natural light penetrates all of them.” Liberland president Vít Jedli?ka told Inhabitat that he and his team are studying whether a stackable algae-powered city design is feasible for Liberland. “We are blessed to have such great minds involved in creating Liberland, he said. “The winning design concepts show that the country can become a prosperous habitable area using [the] latest innovations in green technology to remain mostly self-sufficient. We will further study upon the 1st place project to see if and how exactly it could be introduced in reality. When that’s possible, we want to launch a virtual 3D landscape with building models to help people choose a place to live or to invest in. I congratulate all selected participants for their clever ideas representing the freedom Liberland stands for.” Sustainability played an important role in the RAW-NYC design. In addition to algae, buildings would feature integrated photovoltaic panels , rainwater harvesting systems and green roofs , and nothing would go to waste – neither space nor materials. Everything would be recycled, including all human, agricultural and organic waste, which would be converted into biofuel, and rooftop and community gardening would be scattered throughout, and floodable parks embrace rising waters. The Liberland design competition provided the opportunity of a lifetime – to design from scratch a progressive nation state that promotes innovation and autonomy. The RAW-NYC team used every available device to envision a genuinely sustainable, zero-waste urban oasis that will be resilient in the face of the numerous economic, environmental, and social challenges in the pipeline. + Liberland + RAW-NYC Architects

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Liberland may be the world’s first sovereign nation powered by algae

Critics are fuming over potentially toxic Russian rocket about to crash in the Arctic

June 2, 2016 by  
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Parts of a Russian rocket are expected to crash in Canadian Arctic waters this weekend. The rocket will be launching a satellite under Russia’s Rokot program, and its debris may still contain hydrazine, a toxic fuel, when it makes its descent back down from space. It is unclear who will clean up the debris or what the environmental impact will be in a place that’s home to polar bears and whales , but critics are fuming. The rocket is a ballistic missile from the Cold War era. According to the Canadian Press service, only two countries in the world still use hydrazine, and Russia is one of them. Related: The Russians want to build an outpost on the moon Although Canada was warned about the launch, Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Austin Jean said they should have been warned further in advance to address airspace safety and environmental concerns. Russian Embassy press secretary Kirill Kalinin said environmental concerns were “seriously taken into account.” University of British Columbia International Law professor Michael Byers said hydrazine has devastated the launch site most used by countries in Kazakhstan. He said we don’t know much about how hydrazine interacts with cold water, and that there should be an international ban on the fuel. It’s likely the debris will plummet into the North Water Polynya, an area rich with seals, narwhals, walruses, and beluga whales. Inuit people from Greenland and Canada hunt in the area. Greenpeace Arctic Campaigner Alex Speers-Roesch said , “The idea of dropping a missile full of toxic chemicals in the Arctic waters off Baffin Island is just as preposterous as drilling for oil there. Dumping these chemicals from a ship would be a clear violation of international and Canadian law, and it is no more acceptable when it is dumped from the air.” It’s not yet known how much hydrazine will be in the debris when it hits. Jean said the fuel could burn out completely as it re-enters the atmosphere. Byers said rockets often contain remaining propellant after onboard computers shut them down. Back in 2005, an American rocket released over two metric tons of fuel that was hydrazine-based near Newfoundland. Via The Globe and Mail and the Canadian Press on the Huffington Post and Cambridge Times Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Critics are fuming over potentially toxic Russian rocket about to crash in the Arctic

Swallows Nest: Vincent Callebaut Unveils Glittering Zero-Carbon Mobius Strip Cultural Center for Taiwan

June 12, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Swallows Nest: Vincent Callebaut Unveils Glittering Zero-Carbon Mobius Strip Cultural Center for Taiwan Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: BIPV , clean tech , cultural center in Taichung , Daylighting , earthquake-proof , eco design , green design , Möbius’ ring , photovoltaics , Solar Power , sustainable design , Swallows Nest , taichung , Taiwan , typhoon protection , vertical gardens , vincent callebaut , zero carbon emissions buildings        

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Swallows Nest: Vincent Callebaut Unveils Glittering Zero-Carbon Mobius Strip Cultural Center for Taiwan

Team Roma’s Solar-Powered Med in Italy Prefab Has Amazing Thermal Properties

September 10, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Team Roma’s Solar-Powered Med in Italy Prefab Has Amazing Thermal Properties Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architecture , BIPV , cleantech , Design , eco design , Europe , green design , madrid , Med in Italy , SDE 2012 , Solar Decathlon , Solar Power , sustainable design , Team Roma , thermal massing

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Team Roma’s Solar-Powered Med in Italy Prefab Has Amazing Thermal Properties

Korean Tower Boasts One of World’s Most Efficient Solar Facades

October 29, 2010 by  
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Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture recently announced the groundbreaking of the solar-powered Federation of Korean Industries Tower in Seoul, which will incorporate an advanced photovoltaic wall system that reduces energy usage while generating power. The 800 foot-tall tower will feature one of the most efficient solar electric facades in the world, and the overall added cost to the client is nearly zero. Read the rest of Korean Tower Boasts One of World’s Most Efficient Solar Facades http://www.inhabitat.com/wp-admin/ohttp://www.inhabitat.com/wp-admin/options-general.php?page=better_feedptions-general.php?page=better_feed Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture , angled glazing , BIPV , Building Integrated Photovoltaics , Korean green skyscraper , Korean Industries Tower , Koren green building , solar electric facade

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