Richard Branson signs deal for India’s first super-speedy hyperloop route

February 19, 2018 by  
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Travelers spend around three hours journeying from Mumbai to Pune by train today in India . A hyperloop could revolutionize the trip, slashing it down to a mere 25 minutes. And that’s exactly what Richard Branson -backed Virgin Hyperloop One aims to do. They signed an agreement with the state of Maharashtra, as the state announced their intention to construct what could be India’s first hyperloop route between Pune and Mumbai. Virgin Hyperloop One just signed an historic agreement with the Indian state Maharashtra. They plan to construct a hyperloop between Mumbai and Pune, a corridor 130,000 vehicles travel daily right now. They’ll begin with an operational demonstration track. Branson said in a statement , “I believe Virgin Hyperloop One could have the same impact upon India in the 21st century as trains did in the 20th century.” Related: Virgin Hyperloop One: Richard Branson invests in Musk-inspired high-speed transportation system 26 million people would be connected by the new route, which would link the two cities and Navi Mumbai International Airport. The electric transportation system would cut greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 150,000 tons a year. And a pre-feasibility study conducted by Virgin Hyperloop One revealed over 30 years the route could offer $55 billion in socio-economic benefits, as people save emissions and time. The hyperloop route would support 150 million passenger trips a year, according to Virgin Hyperloop One, saving more than 90 million hours. Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra chief minister, said the route would create tens of thousands of jobs in manufacturing, construction, service, and information technology. What comes after a signing? First, a six-month in-depth feasibility study. The study will scrutinize environmental impact, cost, funding models, regulations, and economic and commercial aspects. A procurement stage would follow to nail down a public-private partnership structure, and then construction would begin, with the demonstration track built in the first phase. According to Virgin Hyperloop One, the demonstration track could be built “in two to three years from the signing of the agreement,” and the second phase could see completion of the full route in five to seven years. + Virgin Hyperloop One + Virgin Images via Virgin Hyperloop One ( 1 , 2 )

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Richard Branson signs deal for India’s first super-speedy hyperloop route

Nova Scotia Power pioneers new energy storage system using Tesla Powerpacks

February 19, 2018 by  
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Nova Scotia Power has established a pilot project that utilizes Tesla’s Powerpack 2 home batteries and their utility-grade Powerpack batteries to form an improved energy storage system for local wind power. Based in Elmsdale, the Intelligent Feed Project aims to bridge any gaps found in the electrical grid by installing Powerpacks where wind turbines are generating surplus energy. These batteries would allow power to be stored for later use, perhaps when there is a power outage or a windless day. While the Powerpack’s expansion into Nova Scotia isn’t quite as massive as its application in places like South Australia , this latest move demonstrates its potential to improve energy storage in power grids. The Elmsdale battery station will serve 300 homes, 10 of which will have Tesla Powerpack 2 batteries. Partially funded by the Canadian government, the trial program will begin at the end of February and will continue until 2019. The physical infrastructure of Powerpacks will remain even after the trial has ended. If the trial is successful, Nova Scotia Power may decide to offer additional programs to local communities. Related: Nantucket to be powered by a 48 MWh Tesla Powerpack system Simply bringing the Powerpacks into the homes and neighborhoods of Elmsdale seems to be having a positive impact on engagement in clean energy infrastructure. “The Powerwall, that was something I hadn’t heard about,” said homeowner Mark Candow . “I was definitely intrigued.” The ease-of-installation and the interactive app provided by Tesla are certainly selling points for consumers. “The ability to monitor their home usage is really making them think more about how they’re using electricity in their home,” said smart grid engineer Rob Boone , “and I think it’s going to make them more energy efficient .” Via Engadget Images via Nova Scotia Power

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Nova Scotia Power pioneers new energy storage system using Tesla Powerpacks

Crescent moon-shaped home on Chilean coast inspired by traditional boat-making techniques

February 19, 2018 by  
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Chilean studio Pezo von Ellrichshausen has created an incredibly sophisticated cylindrical home that blends in seamlessly with its natural surroundings. Located on the Chilean coast overlooking the sea, the Rode House is a wooden structure shaped in a unique curved form that not only provides stunning views from any angle, but also protects the home from the area’s notoriously strong winds. Located on Chiloe island, the building site has dramatic views of the ocean, inspiring the architects to create a nature-inspired home design with a strong connection to the surroundings. Accordingly, the home’s dynamic shape is threefold: aesthetically vernacular, the low-lying structure blends into its environment, nestled into the rising prairie grass. Secondly, the cylindrical structure, which includes several angular forms, is a protective strategy that blocks the strong winds that blow in from the shore. Thirdly, the home’s materials and construction, along with its form, were all inspired by traditional woodworking techniques found in the region, especially prevalent in boats and churches still found in the area. Related: Chilean Folding House allows owners to control the temperature to adapt to the season The architects explain that their inspiration for the home’s curved shape came from the region’s long tradition of carpentry: “Knowing that the island is not only well known for the exuberant myths and legends but for a refined artisanal carpentry knowledge expressed both in churches and boats, accepting that something of that local knowledge would inform our project,” they said, “we preferred to have in mind that delicate artlessness of a totally forgotten wooden padlock.” The curved roof, covered in traditional thin wood shingles , was strategically angled to allow optimal natural light into the living space. This slanting volume continues through to the interior where double height ceilings add a sense of airiness to the interior. Inside, the walls are clad in light wooden panels, also adding to the serene cabin-like atmosphere. + Pezo von Ellrichshausen Via Ignant Photos via Pezo von Ellrichshausen

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Crescent moon-shaped home on Chilean coast inspired by traditional boat-making techniques

Winners of tiny house competition pack comfort and functionality into 269 square feet

February 19, 2018 by  
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Modular building company Ryterna modul recently announced the winners of their Architectural Challenge 2018 competition. Participants were tasked with designing a cozy, functional, modular 269-square-foot tiny house with a living area, sleeping area, kitchen, and bathroom. They received 150 projects from designers in 88 countries and narrowed the field down to three winners and an honorable mention. Abdolrahman Kadkhodasalehi of Iran took first place with his Wave House . Wave House curves up on both sides, with the goal of maximizing use of natural resources. The curves of water in nature inspired the design , and naturally, water and its use features prominently in this tiny house. Water from the sinks and shower are sent to a refinery tank to be purified and re-pumped. High windows in the tiny house invite occupants to fully enjoy surrounding natural landscape, and a folding desk inside is just one feature that creates more space. Related: How one couple adapted a 204-square-foot tiny house for their new baby Julia and Stas Kaptur of Russia nabbed second place for their tiny house 24052705 . They said they entered the competition because “it is a big dream to create spaces in picturesque, hard-to-reach places, such as a river bank, or deep-deep forest.” Transparent external walls with sliding doors invite dwellers of this tiny home to enjoy nature from any room. 24052705 features modular rooms with a living room in the middle. In the standard design, a bedroom and kitchen/bathroom are on either side. The design can be enlarged to include more rooms. William Samin of Indonesia took home third place for his tiny house TM 0301 . He comprised his design of modules that can be stacked or mounted horizontally. The tiny house can be adapted to different types of terrain with a vertical configuration or on stilts . Pivot walls or what Samin called glazing doors can be opened to allow fresh air to flood the home. Floor level storage for rollable mattresses or folded furniture maximize space in the design. The tiny house can go off-grid with a rainwater collection system and solar panels. Ryterna modul gave an honorable mention to Clarence Zichen Qian of China for ATN . They said in their video that his highly theoretical concept prompted them to reflect and think deeper about human existence. ATN can be a tilted or leaning tiny house that’s pictured perched atop other buildings, “detached from the crowd,” according to the PDF on the design. The purpose of the tiny house is to give an occupant time away from social media , in which they can observe and ponder the meaning of life. + Ryterna modul + Ryterna modul Architectural Challenge 2018 Images courtesy of Ryterna modul

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Winners of tiny house competition pack comfort and functionality into 269 square feet

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