The Role of Architectural History in the Development of Solar Passive Architect David Wright

The evolution of pioneer solar passive architect David Wright’s career demonstrates the importance of exposure to the solar works of the ancients, as provided in this guest column by John Perlin based on his new book, Let It Shine: The 6000-Year Story of Solar Energy. This is the first of five articles. David Wright was just another young architect trained conventionally in what he described as the school of just build it and then with heating and cooling equipment and…

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Solar-Powered Drones: Ascent Solar Takes Flight Aboard Silent Falcon Unmanned Aircraft

Solar-powered drones are becoming more commonplace in the aviation industry. How they will all be used remains to be seen. Colorado-based Ascent Solar Technologies and Silent Falcon UAS Technologies have announced the successful first flights of the production Silent Falcon Unmanned Aircraft Systems. These systems will be powered by Ascent Solar’s ultra-lightweight, flexible photovoltaic modules. Silent Falcon UAS, with headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico, jointly developed by SFUAS, Bye AEROSPACE and Ascent Solar, is a tactical drone that can be…

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Microgrid by Willdan

Microgrid Alliance Forms to Promote Technology

Earlier this week, the Microgrid Alliance (MGA) announced its formation. Its goal is to be a collective voice for companies and other stakeholders involved in microgrids. Microgrids are small-scale power systems that tie into the main grid. As the graphic above shows, there are many pieces to a microgrid. Most are found on campuses, military bases, or similar small community-type locations. According to the Galvin Electricity Initiative, microgrids feature a wide range of “smart technology in a single location, which maximizes service…

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New Energy See-Through SolarWindow Sets New Record for Generating Electricity

Appealing see-through SolarWindow may impact new LEED-targeted designs See-through windows that generate electricity are starting to attract expanded interest. New Energy Technologies, a developer of see-through SolarWindowT coatings, has announced that its technology has set a new record for generating electricity while remaining see-through with over 50% greater power than prior attempts publicized by others. For those wanting a blend of visual acuity and clean energy, this statistic should provide a significant boost to market appeal. Speaking about this technology,…

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Solar Cell Advances: Omitting Lead from Promising Cell

Environmentally friendly solar cell advances push forward the ‘next big thing in photovoltaics’ Solar cell electronics appear to be getting friendlier on the environmental side of the spectrum. Northwestern University researchers have developed a new solar cell with good efficiency that uses tin instead of lead perovskite as the harvester of light. This research advance provides a low-cost, environmentally friendly solar cell can be made easily using “bench” chemistry — no fancy equipment or hazardous materials. “This is a breakthrough…

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Solar Installations Planned at Additional 50 UK Schools by CBD Energy

Underlining its commitment to sustainability within UK schools, global renewable energy company CBD Energy Limited (‘CBD’), is set to launch a new tranche of Energy Bonds in the weeks ahead. Having completed a successful raise – in excess of £7.5m – with its last bond, the company partnered with ‘Power Your Future’, a schools’ sustainability programme, and began construction on a series of solar installations, helping participating schools to generate their own solar energy, and in turn reduce their overheads. Projects…

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Guest Post: The Trend of Sustainability & Businesses Creating an Impact

I would like to thank Kenny Myers for this guest contribution about the trend toward sustainability. – GM According to some so-called experts, green building and sustainable technologies are nothing more than a fad and fossil fuels will undoubtedly make a return. However, it’s hard to believe that rhetoric when so many businesses and homeowners are taking part in creating an energy conscious connection. In April of 2014, Marriott International, Inc. announced that it has created its first LEED certified hotel…

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NREL Researchers Are Busy with Promising New Solar Material

Light-absorbing perovskite cells show promise as solar material Known as perovskite, the name of this material found in the Ural Mountains may be difficult to pronounce for American English speakers, but the potential it offers as a new solar dell material is considerable. Three scientific papers have already been published about it. Intense research efforts, led by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), are currently taking place. This informative news release came this morning. Unfortunately, photos and…

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Bacardi Enhances The Efficiency Of Its Rum Facility

Bacardi, a wine company based in Puerto Rico, has been building its reputation for sustainability since 2006. Last year, it announced that it significantly reduced its water and energy usage. It is now taking the next step towards sustainability with the installation of solar skylights, which are intelligently designed ‘windows’ that allow plenty of sunlight into the rum warehouse, helping to keep it warm and nicely lit during winter, reducing heating demand, and the need for electric lighting. In addition to…

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Geothermal Market Shows Growth

The following GEA release provides solid information about the geothermal market. New GEA Report Details Trends in Global Geothermal Market A new report from the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA), released today at the organization’s International Geothermal Showcase in Washington, D.C., reveals the international power market is booming, with a sustained growth rate of 4% to 5%. The “2014 Annual U.S. & Global Geothermal Power Production Report” finds almost 700 projects currently under development in 76 countries. Threats caused by climate…

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Biofuels from Corn Residue Show Negative Climate Impacts

The environmental price for producing biofuels like ethanol from corn residue is significant. Sad to report research from a University of Lincoln team reports that this kind of biofuel could generate more greenhouse gas than does gasoline. I have never been an ethanol enthusiast anyway. Read the following release. Study casts doubt on climate benefit of biofuels from corn residue Lincoln, Neb., April 20, 2014 — Using corn crop residue to make ethanol and other biofuels reduces soil carbon and…

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