IKEA is now selling solar panels and home batteries in the UK

August 3, 2017 by  
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Elon Musk’s Tesla Powerwall better watch its back; The British arm of IKEA says it will be offering battery storage for its current range of rooftop solar panels . For homes that generate more power than they use, this will allow them to stow the excess for a cloudy day, rather than watch it dissipate through the national grid. Despite its do-it-yourself ethos, the Swedish mega-retailer won’t be cranking out the batteries itself. Instead, IKEA has teamed up with Solarcentury , the largest solar provider in the United Kingdom, to source the cells from the likes of LG and Sonnen . IKEA has at least one thing going for it that Tesla does not: scale, which can tamp down costs. Depending on location, type of building, and ease of installation, the company says its solar and battery products will start from £3,000, or about $3,970 in American dollars. A 14 kilowatts-per-hour Powerwall, on the other hand, costs a smidge over £5,000 ($6,617). Still, there are cheaper alternatives. As British Wired points out, Powervault , a U.K. startup, lets you build your own home battery solution from £2,500 ($3,307). Related: IKEA’s new cookbook cooks your food for you Theoretically, widespread adoption could lead to lower prices in the long run. And for the tens of millions who have struggled with Allen wrenches and clouds of pine dust, IKEA is a familiar—and generally trusted—quantity. “We know that our customers want to live more sustainably and together with Solarcentury we will help them to get more value from their solar panels and do just that,” said Hege Saebjornsen, IKEA’s sustainability manager for U.K. and Ireland, in a press release. + IKEA Photos by Unsplash and IKEA Via Endgadget and British Wired

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IKEA is now selling solar panels and home batteries in the UK

Everyday objects return to their ‘roots’ by sprouting wooden branches and leaves

August 3, 2017 by  
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Seeing random greenery sprouting from your furniture is usually a sign it’s time to hire a professional housecleaner – unless, of course, its art. Lebanese-Brazilian artist Camille Kachani just unveiled a unique collection of household objects that appear to have sprouted wooden limbs and green leaves. The thought-provoking collection showcases a number of everyday furnishings reworked with plant systems that “sprout” from the objects. Chairs, shelves, shovels, rakes, books, and even ovens have been transformed with weaving roots, branches, and green leaves, resulting in a nature-inspired sculpture that brings the objects back to their original “roots.” Related: Create the perfect minimalist garden with these circular wall planters According to the artist, he reworks the objects in order to reference their natural state and show the limitless “possibilities related to the process of transformation of nature.” By rendering the furnishings or tools unusable, the hybrid objects appear to be slowly returning to their natural form. + Camille Kachan Via This is Colossal

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Everyday objects return to their ‘roots’ by sprouting wooden branches and leaves

Australian company lands $12M to print batteries on printed solar panels

July 13, 2017 by  
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Solar energy appeals to a lot of people concerned about the environment and reducing electricity costs, but the cost of installing the energy-generating panels remains prohibitively high for a lot of people – even though prices are gradually falling . Printed Energy has proposed a solution. The Australian company is on a mission to print out ultra-thin, flexible screen-printed batteries, which can then be applied on top of super-thin flexible screen-printed solar panels, considerably cutting installation costs. Earlier this week, the company signed a deal with UNSW and the University of Queensland — and received backing from the federal government —  to produce the printed batteries and offer them on the market. The $12 million project also received a $2 million grant from the Cooperate Research Centres Projects scheme. Having obtained funding, Printed Energy now seeks to produce “solid state” batteries that are thin and can be printed in a “roll-to-roll” process — similar to a newspaper. The printed batteries will also be adaptable to any shape. The idea isn’t to pair the printed batteries with existing solar technology but to match it with printed solar panels, and other devices the batteries could power. According to Rodger Whitby, CEO of Printed Energy and of the  St Baker Energy Innovation Fund , the printed battery technology is ideal for powering sensors, devices for the internet, disposable healthcare devices and, of course, renewable energy. While the invention could revolutionize the renewable energy industry, the company’s main priority is developing the batteries for “disposable devices.” Battery storage for solar will follow. Said Whitby, “We are really thinking of this type of battery in a different paradigm. We have also got IP for printed PV – so the idea is to have a sub-strata plastic sheet, and print solar on one side and battery on the other.” The printed batteries stand apart from other battery chemistries because the company is using commonly available metals, such as zinc and manganese oxides along with inorganic matrix structures, to produce the invention. This makes them low-cost, non-toxic and very low in flammability. However, challenges persist. For instance, the printed batteries, which are expected to cost next to nothing, still need to have enough efficiency to produce suitable amounts of power, store it, and to make it worthwhile in areas where competition exists. When asked if the vision can be achieved, the CEO of Printed Energy replied: “We don’t know. We have got a lot of research to undertake before we answer that question.” Related: Rocket Lab’s new rocket is 3D-printed and powered by batteries As Renew Economy  reports , the project is being backed by Sunset Energy  which has a hypocritical relationship with the clean energy industry. For instance, the company’s principal, Trevor St Baker, invested in a Tesla , put solar on his roof and has created an “energy innovation fund,” yet has argued against renewable energy targets and even recently said that “baseloading of intermittent renewables to replace coal in the foreseeable future … will just drive business out of the country.” Nonetheless, it’s backing by Sunset Energy and other companies that will ensure the product comes to market. + Printed Energy Via Renew Economy Images via Printed Energy , Gigaom

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Australian company lands $12M to print batteries on printed solar panels

GE wants to recycle CO2 pollution into energy stored in huge solar batteries

March 10, 2016 by  
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The war between fossil fuels and renewable energy is very real when it comes to their respective environmental impact. But it may no longer be an ‘all or nothing’ situation. Rather than completely replacing coal-fired power plants with wind or solar energy plants, General Electric aims to combine the two by capturing carbon dioxide emissions from coal power plants and using it to create enormous solar batteries . Sounds a little crazy, but could it be the best of both worlds? Read the rest of GE wants to recycle CO2 pollution into energy stored in huge solar batteries

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GE wants to recycle CO2 pollution into energy stored in huge solar batteries

Solar-Powered ‘Self Sustained Module’ Goes Where No Other Home Can Go

May 5, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Solar-Powered ‘Self Sustained Module’ Goes Where No Other Home Can Go Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3 day electric supply , 3 day water supply , built-in electrical system , built-in foundation , built-in water and sewer system , Cannata & Fernandes architects , disaster relief housing , modular building , photovoltaic panels , Prefab , self-constained building , self-sustained module , solar batteries , temporary building , temporary housing , zero infrastructure building

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Solar-Powered ‘Self Sustained Module’ Goes Where No Other Home Can Go

Titan Aerospace Developing World’s First Solar-Powered Atmospheric Satellite Drones

August 23, 2013 by  
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Titan Aerospace has unveiled designs for the world’s first solar-powered atmospheric satellite. The craft, which resembles a large drone, would be completely powered by the sun, allowing it to stay in the air for five years with a mission range of over 4 million kilometers. Read the rest of Titan Aerospace Developing World’s First Solar-Powered Atmospheric Satellite Drones Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: solar batteries , solar drone , solar panels , Solar Power , solar powered atmospheric satellite , solar satellite , Solara 50 , Solara 60 , Titan Aerospace , UAV platform        

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Titan Aerospace Developing World’s First Solar-Powered Atmospheric Satellite Drones

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