Community Solar Power

A community in Canada has an unusual form of solar power that can provide over 90% of the annual heating and hot water needs for the homes, despite being situated in a cold Alberta location where winter temperatures can reach -33 degrees C (-27 F). The Drake Landing Solar Community collects solar energy in a heat storage fluid through an array of solar panels on the roof of each home and covering all of the garages at the back of…

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Solar Powered Sleeping Pods: Winter Safety For The Homeless 

German city Ulm has recently rolled out a new benevolent concept as a means to keep its homeless safe during harsh weathers. With solution focused determination, experts manufactured highly technological weatherproof nests powered by renewable energy. Currently in the second year of trials, they have been called ‘Ulmer Nests.’ Though the nation is Europe’s strongest economic system and the fourth-largest around the globe, statistics still show a recurring issue of 860,000 homeless German nationals, particularly increasing in 2014 when a…

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Masdar City: A Test Case for Sustainable Urban Living

Sweltering in the hot desert sun, Masdar City sits under a global microscope at the nexus of rising clean technology and the development of sustainable urban life in the glaring light of climate change. Conceived on a zero-moisture stretch of barren desert sand in Abu Dhabi, UAE, the zero-carbon, zero-waste settlement of Masdar City has diligently sustained itself through every struggle and step of progress. Masdar City: A Living, Striving Test Case for Earth’s Future As the warming effects of…

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UL Courting Solar Market With New Acquisition

This article was originally published on Planetsave Independent global testing and certification body UL (Underwriters Laboratory) has acquired renewable energy engineering services and support firm, AWS Truepower for an unspecified sum. Underwriters Laboratory (UL) announced its AWS Truepower acquisition will strengthen its full lifecycle solutions. “There is strong alignment between the two brands,” said Jeffrey Smidt, vice president & general manager for UL Energy & Power Technologies. “UL and AWS Truepower have a shared mission and complementary businesses. As the market for renewable…

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Anbaric Renewable Electricity Transmission Using High-Voltage Direct Current Technology

Originally published on CleanTechnica In an era of producing multiple forms of renewable electricity, the transmission of high-voltage energy is becoming increasingly important. Anbaric often uses high-voltage direct current (HVDC) technology, heralded as one of the “advanced transmission technologies” in the 2005 Energy Policy Act, which provided for the development of a stronger energy infrastructure. HVDC systems have been in use commercially worldwide since 1954, when the island of Gotland was connected to mainland Sweden via a 60-mile cable. Since…

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How To Build A Wind Turbine

This ‘How-To’ was  originally published on CleanTechnica There is something remarkable in watching a wind turbine capturing the energy of the wind and converting it into clean electricity. For those unsure of a wind turbines workings, the Department of Energy provides this overview: “Wind turbines operate on a simple principle. The energy in the wind turns two or three propeller-like blades around a rotor. The rotor is connected to the main shaft, which spins a generator to create electricity.”  Windmills…

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Facebook Spends $269 Million On Headquarters

According to Jack Cookson, a research analyst at BuildZoom, his company’s business specialty involves collecting all building permits from around the country, a daunting venture which sometimes reveals interesting results on companies like Facebook. A search recently led company researchers to Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, writes Cookson,  “…and we couldn’t resist investigating what has been up to.” Here is what BuildZoom discovered: “Facebook is going green. There were a total of 8 permits directly related to solar energy, totaling $8,105,261. The…

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Masdar City Sets The Bar For Sustainable Urban Development

Masdar City, near Abu Dhabi, has set its sights on being the most sustainable city on the planet, and it is well on the way to meeting that goal. Development started in 2008 and is expected to continue for at least the next five years, with 40,000 people expected to live within its boundaries, and another 50,000 commuting to work there. “Masdar City is a template for sustainable urban development, and its evolution is taking place in partnership with a…

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World’s Largest Solar Glass Envelope To Supply Electricity At Copenhagen International School

Dubai-based Emirates Insolaire will supply about 12,000 solar glass panels to the Copenhagen International School in Denmark, boosting the facility’s production of clean electricity. Emirates Insolaire produces and distributes colored solar glass and colored PV modules using what is called Kromatix technology. This technology allows solar PV to be integrated into the architectural design of all types of buildings, opening opportunities for building aesthetics to be coupled with enhanced energy savings. The company indicates it is expecting sales of 50,000 square meters of…

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New Rooftop Wind Turbine Technology

Wind power is a major source of renewable electric power in many places around the world. We usually associate wind power with tall wind turbines located in remote locations or far out to sea. In July, Denmark produced 140% of its domestic energy from just such turbines, according to The Guardian. Yes, that record was established over a rather windy 24-hour period, but it is remarkable all the same. Until now, small wind turbines that are sized for residential and…

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Building Materials, Fossil Fuels’ Ugly Cousin

We still live in a time when we do plenty things that are very harmful to our planet. It seems we’re all aware that fossil fuels like oil and coal create a considerable portion of our greenhouse gas pollution. But many people don’t understand that we also do a lot of harm to our planet with the materials we use to build and remodel our homes and buildings. If you examine some our most prominent building materials, it quickly becomes obvious…

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The first power-to-gas plant in the US opened in California

First US Power-to-Gas Plants Open in California and Colorado

Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) is bringing science fiction to life, launching two demonstration projects to create and test a carbon-free, power-to-gas system for the first time ever in the U.S. The technology converts electricity into gaseous energy and could provide North America with a large-scale, cost-effective solution for storing excess energy produced from renewable sources. Using electrolyzer-based methods, the power-to-gas concept uses electricity from renewable sources, such as solar and wind power, to make carbon-free hydrogen gas by breaking…

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Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower Goes Green

An ambitious remodel project at the Eiffel Tower is making its operations greener.  The first floor of the landmark building was recently refurbished for a better visitor experience and to improve the environmental impact of the historic building. First floor glazing was changed to provide a 25% reduction in solar heat gain during the summer months.  This will significantly reduce the need for air conditioning, saving money and energy.  Almost all of the lighting in the first floor was changed…

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Wind Tree turbine

Wind Tree Provides Silent Wind Power Beautifully

A new French start-up, NewWind, is making wind power beautiful!  Their new Wind Tree offers almost a hundred mini-windmills on an apparatus designed to look like a tree. Due to the light construction of the “leaves,” the Wind Tree generates power at wind speeds as low as 4.4 miles per hour!  This translates into sustained operation times (an average of 320 days a year) that are almost double those of standard windmills that need higher wind speeds in order to…

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Foot powered soccer field

Soccer Field Lights Powered By Players’ Energy

In a Brazilian neighborhood plagued by blackouts, panels under the turf of a neighborhood soccer field, fueled by players running over them, provide electricity to light the field and the surrounding homes.  A typical soccer player can run up to seven miles during a football game.  Most of the players in this neighborhood are local children, poor, who formed a very attentive audience while the field was being installed. The panels provide clean, human powered energy to a neighborhood that…

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John Perlin Solar Energy History Series: Part III

I am pleased  to post this third in a series of SOLAR ENERGY  history 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 throughout the millennia — here the solar heat trap. Third Major Breakthrough – Glass as a Solar Heat Trap Vitruvius, the preeminent architect of ancient Rome, saw Greek solar houses while a military engineer stationed in Greece. He reiterated what he had seen as advice…

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NREL Power Lunch Lecture Series Features John Perlin

For those individuals able to attend, I highly recommend this NREL Power Lunch lecture, featuring John Perlin, author of  “Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy.” October 1 lecture  by John Perlin, author, lecturer, consultant — solar energy & forest preservation John Perlin will present a lecture on his new book, Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy, which covers the development of all solar technologies, beginning with the ancient Chinese, Greeks and Romans who designed…

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What is LEED? – Energy and Atmosphere

This is the fifth post in a series on the LEED green building rating system. The first post provided an Introduction to LEED, the second looked at the Sustainable Sites credit category, the third at the Location and Transportation credits, and the fourth at Water Efficiency. Energy and Atmosphere Improving energy efficiency is one of the easiest ways to save money and improve the sustainability of a building. Therefore almost a third of the points available in LEED are found in…

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