Guest Contributor

is many, many people. We publish a number of guest posts from experts in a large variety of fields. This is our contributor account for those special people. :D

How Much Will Switching Light Bulbs Save You?

Thomas Edison, the man largely credited for inventing the modern incandescent light bulb as we know it, once said that “we will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles”. While I appreciate the philanthropic nature of his comment, something tells me he never would have predicted just how much it costs to power the light bulbs that illuminate our homes more than a century later. According to the US Energy Information Administration the national average per kWh is…

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Building a Tiny House With Straw Bales

According to Click Green, hay bales can make an affordable, energy efficient, and sustainable tiny house that can keep you and yours safe and warm far off the grid. The bales have 75% more insulating power than a traditional stud wall filled with fiberglass insulation, and are non-combustible because they have little to no oxygen inside. To begin, frame the dwelling as you would a “conventional” tiny house‘s post and beam structure, then fill in the openings with the hay…

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High-tech Fiberboard Made from Waste Fiber

There’s a new green building material on the market that is light, strong, and flexible, and can be made into just about any shape, including complex molded shapes, without the need for any glues, harmful chemicals, or toxic ingredients. This material, called ECOR, is a high-strength fiberboard made using only water, heat, fiber, and pressure, and takes a low-value product (waste fiber) and turns it into a high-value green building material. At its most basic, ECOR, from Noble Environmental, is…

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Links Leading to Today’s Solar Revolution

This miniseries on the solar revolution is based on John Perlin’s Book, Let It Shine: The Story 6000-Year of Solar Energy. We commence with the discovery of photosensitivity. Read this , then read his excellent book. Part 1 – The Discovery of the Photosensitivity of Selenium When my book, Let It Shine: The Story 6000-Year of Solar Energy, first came out several experts criticized me for not recognizing Edmund Becquerel as the direct link to the solar cells in use today. When…

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John Perlin Series: Five Major Breakthroughs in Solar Energy – Part II

I am pleased to post this second in a series of solar energy articles from John Perlin, based on his ground breaking book, Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy. Perlin discusses the major breakthroughs in solar energy over the millennia. Second Major Breakthrough – Solar Architecture and Solar Cities The second major breakthrough in solar occurred when the Chinese began to apply their knowledge of the changing position of the sun during the year, as discussed in the…

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The Dark Side of Solar Energy: Solar Weaponry

John Perlin’s book, “Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy,” tells of a scheming thirteenth century priest/scientist who tries to convince the Pope to start a solar weapons’ race by showing him a treatise written by an early Muslim geometrician regarding solar burning mirrors. Had solar energy lived up to its threat as the ultimate weapon, it might have taken center stage much earlier as the power source of the world. The military today revisits this thirteenth-century vision…

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Solar Saga Continues: The Koch Brothers Weren’t the First to Try Stopping Solar

Special thanks to author John Perlin for this solar history contribution about others who long ago tried to end one solar entrepreneur’s life. The material comes from Perlin’s recently published book, Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy. He will be a featured speaker at Intersolar. At this event, he will sign copies of his book. The Atacama Desert in northern Chile well deserves its reputation as the American Sahara. But when, in 1870, news spread of a “mountain…

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Guest Post: Are Energy Systems Really Focused on Sustainability?

As the focus for sustainability has been gaining strength throughout the last decade, many developers are trying to accommodate the mindset. Standardized rating systems provide a measure for those developers to strive for in order to connect to a growing market need. While some of these rating systems may have some good points to them, are they really focused on the goal of sustainability? A great deal of money can be made just by simply placing a sticker on a…

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Architecture & Passive Design

This story about a passive house comes from the architectural firm, Studio APXE. “Тhe family passive house is situated in Delta Hill, the vicinity of Kladnica village, the south green slopes of Vitosha mountain in a picturesque area. “The headway and experience gained of the Studio APXE team contributed for our most significant success till now. “The challenge was to fit successfully the large scale one-storey building in the green landscape without appearing foreign and superfluous there. We detached by their volumes…

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Can You Make Money on Energy Bills from Being Green?

For years now, we’ve been forking out huge amounts on our energy bills. With the big six companies recently announcing their latest price hikes, it can be really frustrating to read that these providers are enjoying a five-fold rise in returns, as The Telegraph reports – while many of us struggle to meet the payments. However, have you ever thought about turning the tables and making these energy companies pay you? With renewable energy sources, this is a possibility. Take…

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Graphene Heats Up Race For Cheap Organic Solar Cells

Does Robin Thicke’s notorious hit “Blurred Lines” contain secret references to graphene? We don’t know, but we are interrupting our New Year’s Day Walking Dead marathon to bring you news that graphene, the notoriously hard-to-handle nanomaterial…

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Meet a Modern Yurt: Ed Ryan’s circHouse

Special thanks to Ed Ryan, developer of the circhouse, for providing GBE with this guest post. The circHouse is a durable, easily constructed, multi-use building which has been designed to serve many functions, among them, humanitarian and relief housing, offices for medical facilities, storage and logistics applications, and recreational, resort and lifestyle uses. The basic design is round and similar to a yurt but made with modern materials and CAD engineering. Buckminster Fuller said, “To change something, build a new…

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Thinking Green Beyond the Inside of Your House

Although all of this may seem obvious, it ought to be noted that the insulation capacity of trees is everything but trivial. Some studies demonstrate that having trees around the home in urban settings can reduce energy consumption significantly. In the winter, heating needs can be decreased by 15% while in the summer the cost of air conditioning can be reduced by as much as 50%! Not only do these savings potentially represent an inviting amount of money at the end of the year, they also indicate that the overall carbon footprint of any house with trees around it can be significantly smaller than its treeless and plantless equivalent.

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Realising Significant Benefits through Building Energy Management Systems

Building energy management systems (BEMS) is one of the most effective ways of monitoring and controlling your energy expenditure. Businesses may struggle to reduce their overhead costs without a similar smart meter. Some of the best systems can save you 25 percent, according to studies carried out on the effectiveness of building management system for reducing energy expenditure in businesses. Instead of requiring constant attention, a BEMS can be pre-programmed with control systems that are ideal for your workplace environment.…

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