Groundfridge uses insulation, not electricity, to stay cool

July 8, 2021 by  
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Designed by Studio Floris Schoonderbeek , the Groundfridge refrigerated cellar uses the soil’s natural insulation as a cooling system for sustainable food and wine storage. It serves as an alternative to common refrigerated cellars that suck energy and result in high utility bills. The Groundfridge requires no electricity, instead using natural insulation and a battery-powered ventilation system. A spherical structure is dug into the earth and covered with the excavated soil from the new location so that only the main opening is visible aboveground. The insulating capacity combines with the natural coldness of the ground, while the inhalation of cool air through the ventilation system makes for a constant cellar climate.  Related: This durable, recyclable cooler is made from bamboo, wool, steel and aluminum The interior section of the cellar is made of wood , while the covering layer of soil is about one meter thick. The battery-driven ventilator offers users the option of setting ventilation times throughout the day depending on specific temperature needs. The temperature inside the Groundfridge will match the temperature of the ground at one meter below, but it can also be affected by factors like soil type, groundwater levels, sunlight exposure, mound vegetation and the outside temperature. Using the ventilator at night will reduce the interior temperature as cold night air is accessed; the company recommends venting the device at least one full hour every 24 hours. For peak temperatures or areas with higher average temperatures, there is an additional active cooler (called the “Chiller”) that circulates and cools down the air inside the cellar, which can help keep the Groundfridge at a guaranteed and constant temperature for professional or food-grade use. The Chiller is an optional add-on to the original Groundfridge for an extra fee and can connect to solar panel charging. + Groundfridge Images via Groundfridge

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Groundfridge uses insulation, not electricity, to stay cool

A billion intertidal animals roasted in BC heat wave

July 8, 2021 by  
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The recent heatwave that swept the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada claimed many human casualties, including at least 486 sudden deaths in  British Columbia . But when the thermometer reached an unprecedented 121 degrees in Lytton, B.C., a less-heralded heat-related tragedy was happening on the coast as a billion sea creatures roasted to death. Christopher Harley noticed a putrid odor at Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver during the heatwave. The University of British Columbia marine ecologist followed his nose to find dead intertidal animals strewn across rocks on the beach. Harley and fellow researchers then checked on nearby coastal areas and discovered similar devastation. As  CBC  reports, the researchers saw “endless rows of mussels with dead meat attached inside the shell, along with other dead creatures like sea stars and barnacles.” Related: Global warming driving mass migration of marine life Mussels can endure short spurts of 100-degree  weather . But when the rocky shoreline reached 122 degrees, as measured by Harley and his team, the poor mussels were toast. Harley compared their situation to that of “a toddler left in a car on a hot day.” After all, it’s not like a mussel, starfish or anemone can stroll off somewhere to look for shade. “And on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, during the heat wave, it just got so hot that the mussels, there was nothing they could do,” Harley said. Harley estimates that more than a billion  animals  living on the shore of the Salish Sea perished in the heat dome event. He came up with this number by figuring out how many mussels would fit into a small area, then multiplying by the 7,000 kilometers of affected shoreline. People might not care much about mussels, but the bivalve mollusks are an essential part of the  ecosystem . Migratory birds and sea stars both eat them. Harley predicts that the mussels will recover in a couple of years, but sea stars and clams, which have much longer lifespans, will require more time to regenerate. Via Vancouver Sun , The Guardian , Common Dreams Lead image via Pixabay

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A billion intertidal animals roasted in BC heat wave

In Denver, it took a village to build a microgrid

August 15, 2017 by  
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Fifteen contracts were involved in getting the grid-tied Pena Station off the ground.

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In Denver, it took a village to build a microgrid

Episode 81: Laying Hawaii’s roadmap for renewable electricity by 2045

June 23, 2017 by  
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In this week’s episode, the GreenBiz team reports on the ground from the VERGE Hawaii 2017 conference.

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Episode 81: Laying Hawaii’s roadmap for renewable electricity by 2045

3 barriers holding equitable cities back

June 23, 2017 by  
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The impacts of climate change and benefits of the transition to renewable power are far from evenly distributed, for now.

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3 barriers holding equitable cities back

This electric car charging tower can power up a fleet of EVs at the same time

April 17, 2017 by  
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One of the biggest hassles of owning an electric car is finding a charger when you’re on the go. Looking to address this issue on an urban scale, Ennead Lab just unveiled an EV charging tower that can simultaneously store and power up a fleet of electric cars at the same time. The project, which is slated for a new urban development in Shanghai, takes the form of a stacked parking garage with transparent walls and a supercharger on the ground floor for drivers in a hurry. Ennead Lab’s tower seeks to provide a simple solution for electric car drivers who need to recharge away from home. The Car Charging Tower provides EV owners with two options: a super charge (which typically takes 25 minutes), or a place to park and charge while they go out and enjoy the city around them. Related: Quebec may require EV charging stations for all homes The charging tower would accommodate multiple sized cars and use a standard charging system to maximize the number of cars being charged simultaneously while parked. For those in a hurry, various super charger stations would be located on the ground floor underneath a lightweight canopy. The tower itself would be clad in a reflective perforated metal – a feature that pays homage to the “chrome-filled aesthetic history of the automobile.” + Ennead Lab Images via Ennead Lab

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This electric car charging tower can power up a fleet of EVs at the same time

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is the first to land a rocket intact upon return from space

November 25, 2015 by  
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Amazon ‘s Jeff Bezos has achieved a world first this week — sending a rocket 62 miles (100 km) into space and landing it safely on the ground, upright, fully intact, and ready to be re-used. In the past, rockets have been treated as disposable, simply collected and thrown away after launching a spacecraft. Bezos’ space company, Blue Origin , hopes to significantly lower the cost of space travel and eventually take tourists into orbit. Read the rest of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is the first to land a rocket intact upon return from space

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Bernie Sanders’ climate bill would ban fossil fuel extraction on federal land

November 5, 2015 by  
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Bernie Sanders is taking on President Barack Obama’s “all of the above” energy strategy . The Democratic presidential candidate and Independent Senator from Vermont on Wednesday co-introduced a climate bill , called the “Keep It In The Ground Act,” that would ban all new federal leases for oil, gas or coal extraction on public lands and waters and terminate leases that aren’t producing. The legislation would also prohibit  offshore drilling in the Arctic and the Atlantic. The Obama Administration has been criticized by environmental groups for previously approving offshore oil drilling in the Arctic and the Atlantic, which they argue goes against the president’s pledge to take action against global warming. Last month the president reversed course and blocked new oil drilling in the Arctic. Read the rest of Bernie Sanders’ climate bill would ban fossil fuel extraction on federal land

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Bernie Sanders’ climate bill would ban fossil fuel extraction on federal land

A small modern home in Tel Aviv boasts big eco-friendly features

November 5, 2015 by  
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Giant ‘chicken church’ roosts atop a hill in the Indonesian jungle

July 22, 2015 by  
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Deep in the Indonesian jungle, a giant chicken roosts atop a hill. But this huge bird doesn’t peck at the ground or lay eggs. The enormous chicken-shaped building was hatched by a Jakarta man who claims God sent him a message in a dream, telling him to build a prayer house shaped like a bird. Daniel Alamsjan did what any devout Christian would do and set out to build a giant church-like building that resembles a chicken. Read the rest of Giant ‘chicken church’ roosts atop a hill in the Indonesian jungle

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