New Tesla Powerpack system to offer energy savings of 40-50%

August 28, 2017 by  
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Tesla has pioneered massive battery storage projects this year, such as a 396 Powerpack facility in Southern California. But a recent project in Queensland, Australia reveals installations don’t always need to be huge to make an impact. A system with a single Powerpack and commercial inverter was installed at The Cathedral College in Rockhampton to store solar energy that can help power the boarding school at night. GEM Energy Australia installed a 100 kilowatt solar system on rooftops at The Cathedral College, and some of that energy is stored in the Tesla Powerpack 1.5 during the day. At night, it can power the whole boys boarding house for five hours. The school expects the system will offer them an energy savings of 40 to 50 percent over 12 months, and GEM Energy estimates the school will see a payback in six to seven years. The company said the system cost $285,000 and will offset 40 metric tons of carbon every year. According to Electrek, the system covers 61 percent of the school’s energy , and came online earlier this year. Related: Tesla unveils massive solar battery plant to power the island of Kauai Tesla’s Powerpacks are targeted for commercial enterprises; usually smaller projects can use their Powerwall . But this installation of the one-Powerpack system at the Australian school – the first to have such a system installed – reveals the flexibility of energy storage products from Tesla, according to Electrek. The school system also uses a Tesla inverter; when the company put out their latest Powerpack generation, they also released a commercial inverter they developed drawing on their experience with car inverters. The school already seems pleased with the results; Cathedral College ICT Manager Aaron Nunn said in a Tesla video, “I think it definitely does impress upon our students we’re showing good stewardship and respecting the environment and its resources.” Via Electrek and GEM Energy Australia Images via GEM Energy Australia

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New Tesla Powerpack system to offer energy savings of 40-50%

7 of the best places to view autumn foliage around the world

August 28, 2017 by  
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It may not feel like it, sweaty and sticky as you may be, but if you are a resident of the Northern Hemisphere, autumn is right around the corner. As fun as it has been to soak up the summer sun, the crisp air, slower pace, and dazzling foliage of autumn sounds like heaven right about now. For those who wish to take advantage of the imminent seasonal beauty, we’ve compiled a list of locations across the Northern Hemisphere that will be bursting with autumnal splendor in the weeks to come. 1. Montreal, QC -> Burlington, VT I’m cheating a bit with this first one, but with less than two-hours in a car separating these two fine cities, it is highly recommended that appreciators of autumn pair both lovely spots. Montreal and Burlington are among the earliest major cities in Eastern North America to reach peak foliage, starting in mid-September and continuing into October. While in Montreal, visitors should hike or bike to the top of Mount Royal, or visit the elevated St. Joseph’s Oratory, for a view of the gorgeous patchwork of color along the St. Lawrence River. Autumn is short but sweet in the city, so enjoy the magic while it lasts. Related: Tiny Fern Forest Treehouse Provides a Cozy Vacation Hideaway in the Woods of Vermont While in Burlington , be sure to bike along the Island Line Rail Trail, from which you can catch breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, framed by Lake Champlain. Of particular interest is the causeway section, which connects Colchester and South Hero, where visitors can journey out into the lake itself, thanks to a narrow land bridge. 2. Fujigoko Region, Japan Due to its island location and varied elevation, Japan boasts an impressive diversity of climate zones, from subtropical to cold temperate continental. The fall foliage of Fujigoko, also known as the Fuji Five Lakes Region, benefits from its northern location and higher elevation. Underneath the towering Mount Fuji, the five lakes located in an arc to the north of Fuji provide an excellent contrast to the vivid fall foliage. After the sun has set and the cool air becomes cold, visitors should warm up with a bowl of Fujigoko’s famous udon noodles. 3. Prague, Czech Republic Prague seems to be at the top of many people’s list of favorite European locations, and for good reason. The gorgeous architecture, befitting a city founded in the 6th century, is well complemented by the seasonal changes of autumn. As the leaves change color and the sun retreats, Prague shines. The cool air complements the warm, hearty traditional Czech cuisine, which may be enjoyed on a heated patio if the weather cooperates. For breathtaking views of the foliage, take a trip to the top of Petrin Hill or walk through Kampa Island. Related: Imposing Communist-Era Television Tower Transformed Into a Unique Hotel in Prague 4. Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina/ Tennessee Although New England receives the lion’s share of praise as the American autumn experience, one would be unwise to ignore the majesty of fall in the South. Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the most visited in the United States, offers unparalleled views of a diverse, rich ecosystem that sheds its leaves in waves, from the top of the Appalachian balds down to the foothills. Related: Jimmy Carter built a new solar plant on his old peanut farm Beyond the park, there are endless spots to explore in the mountains of North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia . For those based in or traveling from Atlanta, Tallulah Gorge State Park is only a short drive for breathtaking views that may include whitewater rapids, depending on the weekend. 5. Huangshan, China Huangshan, or the Yellow Mountains, is a beautiful mountain range known for its hot springs, sunsets, unique jagged peaks, and top-down views of clouds. Understandably, it is a popular destination all year round, but it truly peaks in the autumn. Maple trees turn vivid red, various deciduous trees become golden, and the Huangshan pine trees provide an evergreen hue. Add in Huangshan’s unparalleled sunrises and your portrait of fall excellence is complete. 6. Highlands, Scotland Though the Scottish Highlands may be known for their plentiful pine trees, the golden aura of deciduous trees play well against this more traditional backdrop. Peak foliage in the Highlands tends to begin in late September and continue into October. Paired with Scotland’s numerous and famous lochs and the rolling mountains, the Scottish autumn is a must-see. After a hike through Cairngorms National Park, relax with a dram and seasonal produce, including wild game, fresh fruit, and oysters. 7. Michigan If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look no further than Michigan. Whether your fall travels takes you to Michigan’s breathtaking, extensive shoreline bounded by four of the Great Lakes or further inland in the Wolverine State, you are guaranteed to be dazzled by Michigan’s natural beauty. In autumn, all things apple are there in Michigan for your enjoyment; after all, the state produces over 900 million pounds of apples each year. If you seek true wilderness, check out Keweenaw National Historical Park for bold fall foliage, historic towns, and shoreline views. Lead image via Pixabay , others via Depositphotos 1 2 3 , Rob Taylor/Flickr , Justin Henry/Flickr , sunnywinds/Flickr , Andreas Manessinger/Flickr, Xiaojia He/Flickr , daveynin/Flickr , yue/Flickr , Robert Brown/Flickr , and Rachel Kramer/Flickr

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7 of the best places to view autumn foliage around the world

Tesla taps Panasonic to build solar panels for their Powerwall and Powerpack systems

October 17, 2016 by  
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Tesla wants to dip even further into the solar power pool with newly announced plans to partner with Panasonic to build solar panels for Tesla’s Powerwall and Powerpack battery backup systems . Panasonic has already been building Powerwall batteries, as well as electric car batteries, at Tesla’s sprawling Nevada Gigafactory , but this would be the electronics company’s first foray into solar panels with Tesla as a partner. There’s just one hitch: none of this can happen until Tesla’s $2.6-billion acquisition of SolarCity goes through, a move which has been plagued by legal hurdles and awaits a shareholder vote in November. If Tesla ‘s acquisition of SolarCity  is completed, Panasonic would quickly begin building photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules at SolarCity’s $750 million manufacturing facility in Buffalo, New York, which is incidentally also called a Gigafactory. In a statement, Tesla explained that the Panasonic-produced solar components would be sold as part of a “solar energy system that will work seamlessly with Powerwall and Powerpack, Tesla’s energy storage products.” Tesla has agreed to a long-term deal under which it would purchase PV cells from Panasonic, while providing the facility in which to build them. Related: Elon Musk plans to launch Tesla/SolarCity solar roof and Powerwall 2.0 on October 28 Tesla’s main motivation behind the partnership is to create a reliable source of low-cost PV cells designed to be integrated into its other products. “We are excited to expand our partnership with Panasonic as we move towards a combined Tesla and SolarCity,” said Tesla co-founder and Chief Technical Officer JB Straubel. “By working together on solar, we will be able to accelerate production of high-efficiency, extremely reliable solar cells and modules at the best cost.” The announcement of this product line comes on the heels of Tesla/SolarCity’s promise of a solar roof with integrated connections to the Powerwall storage system (and, of course, an included Tesla car charger). The official product unveil for the solar roof is set for October 28, despite the fact that Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity won’t be a done deal before the shareholders vote on November 17. Via Engadget Images via Shutterstock and  SolarCity

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Tesla taps Panasonic to build solar panels for their Powerwall and Powerpack systems

Tesla to install worlds largest backup battery for the city of Los Angeles

September 19, 2016 by  
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In the latest development to solidify Tesla’s position as more than just a luxury electric car maker, the California-based company has been chosen to produce a lithium ion battery solution to power the city of Los Angeles during peak energy times. Following the massive methane leak near L.A. last year that caused more environmental damage than the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, authorities demanded a peak time solution that would not carry such enormous health and environmental risks. Tesla will design and build exactly that solution at its new Gigafactory .

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Tesla to install worlds largest backup battery for the city of Los Angeles

Copenhagen’s Hanging Gardens will allow residents to grow and sell their own vegetables on-site

September 19, 2016 by  
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Designed with sustainability in mind, the Hanging Gardens Tower is envisioned with locally sourced construction materials and its gardens provide benefits to the environment through the management of rainwater, habitat creation for local fauna, and air purification. The building features a checkered facade with floor-to-ceiling windows that alternate with prefabricated angled bays. The tower’s identical bays provide room for an outdoor balcony and gardens, while its angled form helps provide privacy and protect the interior from solar heat gain. Related: MVRDV’s Gorgeous Tunnel-Shaped Market Hall Opens its Doors in Rotterdam Each apartment will have access to a private vegetable garden and hanging gardens , where residents can grow their produce. Residents will also be able to trade and sell their produce on the ground floor farmer’s market, an addition inspired by the site’s history as a former vegetable market. “The utilization of contextual shapes in new combinations gave the building a series of architectural benefits for the residents,” write the architects. “As an example, the layout of the facade generates more than 200 balconies, without compromising the daylight intake of the apartments. The geometry furthermore shields the users from wind nuisance, while enhancing the acoustic environment of the balconies. Lastly the balconies are designed to give the highest amount of comfort, in respect to daylight and privacy.” The Hanging Gardens Tower is slated to begin construction by April 2017. + Studio LOKAL Via ArchDaily Images via Studio LOKAL

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Copenhagen’s Hanging Gardens will allow residents to grow and sell their own vegetables on-site

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