The world’s most efficient 5-seater car is powered entirely by the sun

June 27, 2017 by  
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A team of students at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) just unveiled an electric car that seats five and is completely powered by the sun. Called Stella Vie, the vehicle stands apart because it’s more efficient than all solar cars before it. Even with fewer solar panels on its roof, the car is capable of a range of about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) on a warm summer day. According to the students, Stella Vie is “the car of the future.” Charged by the sun, the solar-powered vehicle can reach speeds up to 130 km/h (80 mph) and it also contains new, smart technology such as a parking navigation system that takes into account the position of the sun when parking (so it can keep charging). Like a Tesla, Stella Vie also uses the latest technology to warn drivers of upcoming traffic events. This allows for safer and more efficient driving. According to TU/e, Stella Vie was designed to find the most efficient route and show how much energy can be saved compared to a standard, fossil fuel-powered car. Any surplus energy that is generated by the vehicle can be supplied back to a house or the electric grid . Additionally, the smart charging and discharging system keeps track of energy prices and daily use to find the best time to recharge and discharge. Related: Record-Breaking Solar Car Can Travel 98 Miles on 15 Cents Worth of Electricity All in all, 23 students worked together to develop the car which is competing to win TU/e’s third world title at the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge , which will take place this October in Australia . The competition requires the solar -powered cars to run 3,000 kilometers through the Australian outback. Stella Vie will compete in the Cruiser Class (for practical cars), where technical innovation, battery consumption and the number of occupants that can be transported are taken into account by judges. + TU/e Images via TU/e, Bart van Overbeeke

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The world’s most efficient 5-seater car is powered entirely by the sun

Nonprofit teaches communities how to build homes out of straw, clay and soil

May 31, 2017 by  
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Emily Niehaus was working as a loan officer when she see realized that there was a need for affordable, sustainable housing options in her community. So she founded Community Rebuilds – a nonprofit that teaches people to build affordable homes out of “dirt cheap” materials like clay , straw and soil . Interns participate in a 5-month program, completing two homes from foundation to finish using sustainable living principles. Community Rebuilds started in Moab, UT as a way to ease the financial strains of people living in the community. Since then, the project has spread to southwestern Colorado and the Hopi Reservation in Arizona. The initiative has constructed 25 homes in four communities with the goal of expanding knowledge about valuable natural building skills across the US. Homes are built out of natural materials like straw, soil and clay using passive design techniques. They are equipped with green tech like solar arrays and sustainable features like adobe floors, earthen plasters and greywater systems. Related: Navajo mum gets new lease on life with this solar-powered home The first home was built in 2010, and since then the internship has evolved to include 16 people over a five-month term. Interns build two homes from the ground up. In exchange for their labor they get housing, food and an invaluable education in sustainable building. + Community Rebuilds  

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Nonprofit teaches communities how to build homes out of straw, clay and soil

C.F. Mller unveils eco-conscious highrise in Sweden

May 2, 2017 by  
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International design firm C.F. Møller won an architecture competition with their proposal for an eco-conscious high-rise in the central Swedish city of Västerås. Topped with solar panels and a green roof , the energy-efficient skyscraper will be a beautiful landmark and model of hybrid design with its proposed timber and concrete structure. Greenery is woven throughout the design, from the panoramic garden on the 15th floor to the trees planted on every balcony. The 15,700-square-meter mixed-use tower was designed for an architecture competition launched by property management company Riksbyggen in January 2017. The winning design features an elliptical shape with 22 floors; concrete will be used for supporting construction up to the 15th floor, while the remaining seven floors will be framed in solid wood. Untreated wood , protected from the elements by balconies, clads the rounded facade. “The architecture and details of the facades are inspired by the light reflections on Lake Mälaren,” says Ola Jonsson, Architect and associate partner at C.F. Møller. “The result is a three-dimensional and dynamic facade composition that is exciting both near and from afar. The panoramic garden placed high up in the building is a focal point for the city and a fantastic common area for the residents of the house. Our ambition has been to optimize the synergies between the city, building and urban greenery.” Related: C.F. Møller is building a garden-filled vertical village in Antwerp The building’s ground floor will be open for restaurants and commercial use, while residences occupy the upper floors. A vertical green wall faces a public square and is complemented with small parks with active and passive spaces. A garden on the 15th floor offers additional green space to residents as well as 360-degree panoramic views of the city. Green roofs top the parking building and the tower. + C.F. Møller Images via C.F. Møller

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C.F. Mller unveils eco-conscious highrise in Sweden

Tesla is doubling its Supercharger network by the end of the year to 10,000 chargers

April 24, 2017 by  
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Tesla is nothing if not ambitious. With the Model 3 release mere months away, Tesla is vowing to double its charging network. Right now, there are over 5,000 Superchargers globally, and by the end of the year that number will rise to 10,000 chargers – plenty of juice for the growing Tesla fleet. Tesla has two types of chargers: Superchargers , which can completely charge up a Model S in 75 minutes, and Destination Chargers, which work much like a home charger. Tesla currently has 9,000 Destination Charging stations and 5,000 Superchargers. By 2018, there will be 10,000 Superchargers and 15,000 Destination Charging stations serving over 200,000 Tesla vehicles. California alone will get 1,000 Superchargers. Related: Tesla starts fining Supercharger hogs $0.40/minute In addition to more Supercharging stations, Tesla is expanding existing stations: “Tesla will build larger sites along our busiest travel routes that will accommodate several dozen Teslas Supercharging simultaneously.” You can see all existing stations and planned stations at this link . + Tesla

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Tesla is doubling its Supercharger network by the end of the year to 10,000 chargers

Sono Motors crowdfunds groundbreaking solar-powered car

September 8, 2016 by  
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A German startup has successfully raised over $200,000 to crowdfund a self-charging electric car that uses integrated solar panels to supply power throughout the day. The funds for Sono Motors’ Scion car will be used to produce prototypes for trial runs and crash testing, with the first deliveries of the finished vehicle expected in 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=h4zidi2DEUs&ab_channel=SONO The vehicle will come in two models: a $13,000 “Urban” version capable of traveling 75 miles on a single charge, and an $18,000 “Extender” version with a 155-mile range. The vehicle features built in photovoltaic panels which can generate up to 18 miles of driving range per day, simply sitting outside in the sun. Of course, the vehicle can also be recharged the traditional way by being plugged into a standard household outlet. The interior of the car has some unusual features as well: for one thing, a particular species of Iceland moss is integrated into the fan to serve as a natural air filter . It requires no special upkeep or care because it draws the water it needs to grow from the surrounding air. It both filters dust particles from the air and even absorbs the noise of traffic nearby for a more relaxing ride. Related: Record-Breaking Solar Car Can Travel 98 Miles on 15 Cents Worth of Electricity The Scion seats six, with the back seats able to fold down to create additional cargo space. The dashboard features an integrated ten-inch display which can be connected to any smartphone via Bluetooth or WiFi , allowing easy access to GPS, streaming music, and contacts. An optional towing hitch can be added to the back of the vehicle. While the crowdfunding campaign allowed interested customers to reserve full-day test drives and put down deposits on the cars, if you missed out on the campaign, don’t despair. You can still put down a refundable deposit for 500 Euros ($563) or place a preorder for 2,000 Euros (around $2,251). + Sono Motors Via AutoBlog

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Sono Motors crowdfunds groundbreaking solar-powered car

Solar-powered Casa C is an affordable prefab home for a family of five

August 30, 2016 by  
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The house is located in Ziefen, a village near Basel, Switzerland . Instead of ordering a pre-made, prefab house from a catalogue, the owners opted for a custom-designed structure which would marry affordability and green design. This was achieved largely through smart organization and the introduction of two unheated spaces in two sides of the building which present an additional layer of insulation . It has a porch and a loggia on two sides which help insulate the interior space Related: Stunning prefab home uses sustainably sourced timber in Switzerland The final design was of a house built using prefab elements, industrial materials and rough wood and concrete. The central area of the house functions as the living room, kitchen area, an office space, and the master bedroom with bathroom. Fully glazed with operable glass, the living area and kitchen face a large porch that overlooks the garden. Three smaller bedrooms with a bathroom and laundry occupy the upper floor. + HHF Architects Via Plataforma Arquitectura Photos by Tom Bisig

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Solar-powered Casa C is an affordable prefab home for a family of five

Solar Powered Jacket Heats Without The Usual Bulk

August 26, 2016 by  
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You’ve heard of solar powered homes and solar powered devices, but have you heard of a solar powered jacket? ThermalTech is changing the way we look at fabric with its new patented energy absorbing technology. How ThermalTech got started…

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Solar Powered Jacket Heats Without The Usual Bulk

Folding FOSCAT32 catamaran makes the most of wind and solar

June 28, 2016 by  
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Sailing enthusiasts are no strangers to wind power, but few have experienced the wonders of solar-powered sailing . Behold the folding FOSCAT32 catamaran, an energy-efficient alternative concept cat sail vessel that consumes no fuel, harnessing renewable solar and wind for a minimal environmental impact. The ability to switch from solar to wind as a power source also makes it possible to sail FOSCAT32 during both the day and night. In addition, the lightweight folding hulls are easy to handle ashore and require little to no maintenance. FOSCAT32 is one of the first folding cats, which can easily be folded on docks and on any shore. She reduces the wind profile during docking; and while landing the hulls can be easily retracted with folding rudders and mast. Designed by Dr. Hakan Gürsu of Designnobis , FOSCAT32 was honored with a Green Dot Award in 2011 and an A Design Award 2010. + FOSCAT32 The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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Folding FOSCAT32 catamaran makes the most of wind and solar

The MOVA Cube solar-powered globe brings the Earth into your home

December 16, 2015 by  
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For all you Earth lovers out there, you can bring the serenity of the planet into your home with the MOVA Cube. The newest addition to MOVA International’s line of solar-powered decor products, the MOVA Cube uses their proven motion technology to recreate the motion of the Earth in space. The MOVA Cube contains a globe rotating on its own while floating perfectly centered inside a cube. Advanced solar cells hidden inside the globe and the Earth’s magnetic field provide torque for the globe to turn continuously and silently on its own, while a mixture of optical fluids create the mesmerizing floating effect. Built to last, the sustainable design requires no batteries or wires. Simply place the cube in ambient light and it comes to life to add a soothing kinetic ambiance to any room. The MOVA Cube represents a future of eco-friendly homes where things can act without any apparent force and people can enjoy home decor without energy and product waste. Its eco-conscious design and innovative twist on home decor make it stand out from any other item on the market. + MOVA The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link. Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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Charles Rose Architects unveils solar-powered and green-roofed barn home in Martha’s Vineyard

December 15, 2015 by  
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Charles Rose Architects’ latest work brings a modern aesthetic to Martha’s Vineyard that incorporates elements of the island’s vernacular architecture. The handsome barn-inspired home is one of many projects the Somerville-based firm has completed in Martha’s Vineyard. To minimize its energy footprint, the timber-clad structure is topped by rooftop solar panels and a beautiful green roof . + Charles Rose Architects The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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