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Google’s Solar Power Project In 3D

Google has started a massive project of covering their campus with solar panels — almost all the buildings with have solar panels on their roofs. The image shows what the campus will look like when they are finished. Google estimates that the solar modules will provide 30% of the power for their headquarters. While it’s expensive, it’s been said that …

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New Rooftop Wind Turbine Tested: The Helyx

Recently, I wrote about the low-profile Aerotecture wind turbines, which are designed to be installed on the rooftops of city buildings. Now I’ve heard of another rooftop wind turbine under development. It’s called the Helyx Wind Generator, and it’s composed of two twisted wings of fiberglass that rotate around a vertical axis. The turbine is also colored bright green, which …

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German Town Will Soon Use 100% Renewable Power

There’s a small town in Germany called Dardesheim, that relies almost entirely on renewable sources for its energy needs. The town’s goal is to use 100% renewable power, and become known as German’s “Town of Renewable Energies”. Dardesheim already has some huge wind turbines in place, and many solar roofs installed. Last year they installed an amazing 62 megawatts of …

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The Solar Ark: A Unique Solar Building In Japan

In Gifu Prefecture, Japan, there is an unusual solar building called the Solar Ark, built by Sanyo. It’s one of the most impressive solar buildings in the world. Passengers on high-speed bullet trains can’t help but notice the edifice as they ride past on a nearby railway line. The building was built to symbolize the goal of becoming a “clean …

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The Largest Solar Roof In The World: Floriade Hall

The solar roof at the Floriade Exhibition Hall in the Netherlands still holds the record as the largest of its kind in the world. The roof is comprised of 20,000 semi-transparent solar modules, and it has a surface area of 28,000 square meters (almost 7 acres). It acts as one gigantic solar panel, and generating 2.3 megawatts of power. The …

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The Largest Wind Farm In The World: Horse Hollow

What is the largest wind farm in the world? Well, right now it’s the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center in Texas. This wind farm has 421 wind turbines that generate a total capacity of 735 megawatts. The wind turbines are spread across 47,000 acres of land in Taylor and Nolan County, Texas.

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Flexible Solar Cells: SolarRolls by Bruton

Brunton makes a range of flexible solar cells they call SolarRolls. These weather-proof solar cells can be rolled up quite tightly, and attached to a backpack. Seen here is a 14W model — it produces DC power even during low light conditions. SolarRolls come with a range of plugs, including a standard car lighter socket. They can also be attached …

100% Renewable Power For Durango City, Colorado

The city of Durango will soon be powered by 100% renewable energy (we believe that wind power will be used). Green power currently constitutes about 10% of city power purchases. The extra the city pays for green energy will add about $120,000 a year to its electrical bill officials said. But the extra cost will be offset by an energy …

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Blueberries Used To Capture Solar Power

We just reported on the breakthrough in solar dyes in New Zealand. Now, researchers in Italy have discovered that blueberries have natural pigments that absorb sunlight extremely well. Apparently, dark-colored berries outperform most other plant species when it comes to spectral absorption of sunlight. The blueberry pigment, called, anthocyanine, can be used to make dye-sensitized solar cells, which require no …

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Innovative Solar Dyes: Inexpensive Liquid Solar Power

Researchers from the Nanomaterials Research Centre at Massey University in New Zealand have developed synthetic dyes that can be used to generate electricity at one tenth of the cost of current silicon-based solar panels. These photosynthesis-like compounds work in low-light conditions and can be cheaply incorporated into window-panes and building materials, thereby turning them into generators of electricity. Dr Wayne …

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Australian Island Using Flow Batteries To Store Wind Power

King Island is a small island off the Australian coast, near Tasmania. King Island isn’t connected to the mainland power grid, and apart from its own small wind farm it relied for a long time on diesel generators for its electricity. That changed in 2003 when the local utility company installed a mammoth rechargeable battery which ensures that as little …

California School Goes 60% Solar Powered

Wow, this school gets 60% of its power from solar energy. The Monterey Ridge Elementary school is the newest in a growing list of solar powered schools in San Diego Country. It has more than 20,000 square feet of solar panels blanketing the hillside behind the campus. Principal Rebecca Wardlow says the system is an essential teaching tool at the …

New Biofuel Cells: Electricity From Hydrogen and Thin Air

Science Daily reports that British scientists have developed a “biofuel cell” that generates electricity from air spike with small amounts of hydrogen. These cells are an inexpensive, renewable alternative to “fuel cells” that have been closely associated with the “hydrogen economy”. At a recent meeting of the American Chemical Society, Fraser Armstrong, described how his research group at Oxford University …

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Danish Island Is Energy Self-Sufficient

The goal of the Danish island of Samso, home to about 4000 people, is to power their island with completely green power. They heat their homes with grass burned in a central heating system. Their electric come from the wind, and they power their vehicles on biofuel which they also grow. Since 1998, Samso began converting its energy into renewable …

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Major Solar Power Plants Opens In Portugal

One of the world’s largest solar energy plants, covering the hills of a valley dotted with olive groves in southern Portugal, started delivering electricity to about 8,000 homes on Wednesday. The solar panels, which are raised around 2 meters off the ground, cover an area of 60 hectares (150 acres) and produce 11 megawatts of electricity in one of Europe’s …

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Zero-Energy House: It Uses Solar Power and Hydrogen

The New York Times just published a report on home that uses a unique system to generate hydrogen using solar power. The system was built by Mike Strizki, the 50-year-old director of Advanced Solar Products, a solar installation company, designed a backyard power plant that provides all the house’s energy, using a combination of solar panels and solar-generated hydrogen. Here’s …

Green Building Using Thin-Film Solar

This is the new Ballard Library in Seattle. It’s a state-of-the-art green building which makes use of a sod roof, daylighting, and translucent thin-film solar collectors from Schott. It is listed in the American Institute of Architecture’s top ten green buildings.

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Solar Evacuated Tubes: Free Hot Water

For solar water heating in your home, there are basically two types of solar collectors: conventional flat-plate collectors and evacuated tube collectors. Evacuated tubes have a number of advantages: the work on overcast days, in colder weather, and the tubes can be installed and replaced individually without special tools.

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Ultraminimalist Electricity

By using ultraminimalist electrical configurations, you can lighten your housing arrangements and make them more portable too. Ultraminimalist lighting is straightforward. The most efficient way of lighting a house is to use lamps with compact fluorescent bulbs inside. For example, a 27W compact fluorescent is equivalent to a 100W incandescent bulb. Use LED lights for task lighting and spot lighting. …