Every home in this UK neighborhood is its own power plant

August 29, 2017 by  
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An experimental neighborhood in the U.K. is on a mission to show that smart design can make a big difference when it comes to energy efficiency . 16 homes in Neath, Wales will be outfitted with cutting-edge technology that enables them to generate and store enough clean energy for 100% of their electricity needs. The entire neighborhood will be connected to serve as one autonomous unit of clean energy production. The “buildings as power stations” program is a collaboration between Specific , a U.K. energy innovation center based at Swansea University in Wales and the Pobl Group , which provides social housing. The project will test the feasibility of replacing local power plants with autonomous energy-producing neighborhoods . Related: Amazing solar house generates enough energy to share with its neighbors The innovative project will scale existing clean energy technologies to create a large, cost-effective energy-producing community. The new development will have 16 homes, including two- and three-bedroom houses as well as one-bedroom apartments. The layout will maximize the amount of solar power that can be generated by solar roofs and collectors, which will be shared between the homes. Shared battery storage will hold excess electricity to be distributed in the homes or used for charging electric cars. Various technologies will make the homes ultra-efficient . For example, each building will be wrapped in a perforated steel skin that generates a pocket of hot air when heated by the sun. This air will be distributed through the homes for heat. Elfed Roberts, head of projects at Pobl Group, hailed the pilot as an affordable option for providing energy efficient housing to meet urban housing demands, “The project would enable us for the first time to demonstrate the benefits that the latest technologies can bring to affordable housing developments, and to drastically reduce fuel poverty and carbon emissions. We are aiming to achieve homes that feel homely and pleasant to live in, but that also generate most of their energy needs from the roof and wall coverings, thus dramatically reducing the bills for our tenants.” If the pilot program is successful, the next step is to build another 1,200 energy-positive houses in the Swansea Bay City Deal area. + Specific + Pobl Group Via Fast Company

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Every home in this UK neighborhood is its own power plant

Harvey forces National Weather Service to add new color to its rainfall map

August 29, 2017 by  
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By now everyone knows that Texas is still suffering from the aftermath of the potent Category 4 Hurricane Harvey that swept into the region over the weekend. After the natural disaster dumped more than 30 inches on the state and unleashed winds as strong as 130 mph, causing widespread destruction, weather forecasters at the National Weather Service (NWS) had no choice but to add another color to their rainfall map. Lavender now represents “unfathomable” amounts of rain. In some Texan cities, rainfall is predicted to exceed 50 inches. This is the heaviest rainfall to result from a landfalling tropical storm or hurricane on record in U.S. history, reports Mashable . The NWS warns that catastrophic flooding is likely to continue and recommends that residents of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana stay off the roads. #Harvey in perspective. So much rain has fallen, we've had to update the color charts on our graphics in order to effectively map it. pic.twitter.com/Su7x2K1uuz — NWS (@NWS) August 28, 2017 Experts claim that it is more than likely climate change exacerbated Hurricane Harvey. The Guardian reports that rising sea levels attributable to global warming likely caused the storm to surge half a foot higher than it would have been just a few decades ago. Warming ocean waters also play a role in the uptick of such fierce storms. Sea surface temperatures in the region have risen about 0.5 degrees Celsius (close to 1 degrees F) over the past decade; according to the Clausius-Clapeyron equation , there is a roughly 3 percent increase in average atmospheric moisture content for each 0.5 degrees C of warming. As a result of sea surface temperatures being warmer in the location where Harvey intensified, there was 3-5 percent more moisture in the atmosphere. This, too, intensified the storm. Related: Trump’s USDA staff told to use ‘weather extremes’ instead of ‘climate change’ Though scientists have warned that unsustainable habits would propel climate change and result in worsening  natural disasters , few have heeded the advice and implemented change. It isn’t too late for humanity to invest in renewable technologies and reduce the collective carbon footprint but there isn’t much time before a “tipping point” is reached. Learn more here . Via Mashable , The Guardian Images via Pixabay , National Weather Services

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Harvey forces National Weather Service to add new color to its rainfall map

How to make a color changing solar lantern

October 18, 2011 by  
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Akshata Hegde: Solar lantern Color changing solar lantern. With the rising crisis like situation developed for non renewable sources, everyone is looking to explore the power on renewable energy. There are several products that make use of solar power. You can add one more to the list of eco-friendly equipment. With festivals seasons coming, especially Diwali, the festival of lights, you will first start looking out for colorful lanterns to light up your house. This would end you up will high electricity bills. Worried!! Wondering how to tackle with the money saving issue? Why not take an eco friendly way of celebrating Diwali. Still confused! It is simple why not get a solar lantern this Diwali. You can make a solar lantern for yourself that too at a reasonable cost. Difficulty Level The project is moderately challenging and may require expertise in few areas. Time required A week approximately, you can even make it in a lesser time. Resources required 1. Wood Dowels of 3/16 inch Diameter 2. Blank Wood Coasters of 4 inchx4 inch 3.Thin Fabric 4. A wire cutter 5. 200 Grit Sandpaper 6. 2 Garden Creations Color Changing Solar Yard Lights 7. Sewing Machine 8. An electric Drill 9. Wood Glue 10. A Pencil 11. Flat Black Spray Paint Estimate Cost It depends on the materials you use. Not very expensive though. Instructions 1. Preparing the Solar Light First get the part of a yard light which you might need for this project. To make a solar lantern , you would just need the top part to be a solar one, which will be attached to LED. Now, place the solar top counter by twisting it in a clockwise direction to unlock from the bottom piece. You can also buy the solar yard lights, which are available in the market. Check whether these lights are in working condition before placing them in the box. 2. Preparing the Base Now, start with the base of the lantern. Use the 4?x4? blank wooden coasters as the base of the lantern. Sand these coasters to have a smooth finish using a sand paper. Redo if required. Once the surface becomes smooth, outline the shape of the solar top using a pencil on to the coaster. Make marking where you need to drill the pilot holes, which will be used to slide the wooden dowels. Go ahead to drill straight down on the marking made on the coaster. 3. Preparing the Dowels After that cut the wooden dowels to the correct length required. For instance , take it as 5 inch, you can change the measurements as well. Using wire cutter to cut these dowels, you can also use dremel for this process. 4. Getting The Dowels in Place Once cut in the desired shape, push the dowels through the pilot holes till they start to emerge from the bottom of the base. Now, turn this whole thing upside down in a way that the base is on top. Allow dowels work like table legs. Add few drops of wood glue to each hole on top of the dowel and allow it to dry overnight. If the glue dries earlier then you can go to the next step. 5. Preparing the Fabric Wrap This part will need some sewing work to be done. The circumference of the wrap should be of 13 ½ inch and the height depends on the length of your dowel. Just keep in mind that, only ¼ inch of dowel should be left sticking up above the wrap once it is properly put in place. Seam the top as well as the bottom part of the wrap to make it look neat and nice. 6. Put it all together Now, you are done with the sewing. So, slide this wrap over the dowels ensuring that all sides are accurately pushed all the way down till the base. Now, push the protruding dowels from the top of the wrap into the solar housing’s corners. 7. Paint it! Before finally fixing it all together you need to paint it. So, remove the solar top and the fabric wrap. Ensure that all the wooden parts are smooth. If not then sand it again to make it smooth. Next, place the piece base down on some newspaper and spray an even coat over the exposed wood, including the dowels. Allow the paint to dry for a whole day. If required you can apply an additional coat of paint. Once the paint dries you can fix all the parts back to place. Now your solar lantern is ready to be used. Frequently asked questions: How does this lantern change colors? You can buy a color changing solar part from the store and fix it to the lantern. This will make your work lot easier. Quick tips 1.Wire cutters help you cut the dowels to size required very quickly. At the same time they pinch the ends a bit making it easier to push the dowels into the pilot holes. 2.Keep in mind that the length of the fabric used should be similar to the length of the dowel so that the wrap stays in place properly. Things to watch out for Be careful when you use power tools. Have a safe work area and ensure to wear proper eye protection.

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How to make a color changing solar lantern

ULE 880 Sustainability Certification Opens for Pilot Testing Phase

January 12, 2011 by  
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 A new version of the first sustainability standard for businesses, tweaked after garnering over 1,500 comments, was released today.

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ULE 880 Sustainability Certification Opens for Pilot Testing Phase

The Solar Powered Plane : It Flies!

December 7, 2009 by  
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This is it: solar powered aviation has happened .  Take a deep breath and say it quick and say it fast: “The world’s first solar powered aeroplane has taken off and cruised for 350 meters before landing again.  Its payload was the pilot Markus Scherdel, making it the first ever manned solar powered flight ever.

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The Solar Powered Plane : It Flies!

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