Solar Design

March 12, 2012

Curved Sphelar Cells Catch Sun Rays Easily

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Most solar cells need to be aimed towards the sun for maximum efficiency but Kyosemi's spherical micro cell arrays can collect energy from every angle. Sphelar cells are only 1 - 2 mm across and can be even be mounted on curved surfaces. Designed for outside use, because of their shape they work earlier in the morning and later in the evening than flat cells.

Via Kyosemi

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January 9, 2012

Nokia Says No Solar Phones For Now

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Don't hold your breath waiting for that solar cell phone. Nokia recently completed a study and tested 5 of them in different areas and climates. Some of the results were obvious, as those used closer to the equator worked better. The greatest charge occurred in Kenya while the Artic Circle needed the phone's user to constantly seek the sun. The smaller phones had less efficient solar panels and the angle that the light entered them made a difference as well.

Viia Nokia

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August 15, 2011

Beam Me Up, King Abdullah

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A $1.5 billion Star Trek theme park is to be constructed in Aqaba, Jordan under the backing of King Abdullah (the fan was once an extra on "Star Trek: Voyager") that promises to run mostly on clean energy. While that may be an even farther trek than most want to journey, the park will contain a pavilion so that attendees, businesses and students can learn about alternate energy sources like solar power and wind energy.

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The project will include 4 hotels, multi-sensory 23rd century experiences and a space flight adventure. The Amman company Rubicon Group has teamed with Paramount and architectural firm Callison to begin building the TRSA (The Red Sea Astrarium) next year.

Via Hotelier Middle East

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June 9, 2010

Lunar Solar Belt Conceptualized

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The Japanese company Shimizu has a curious idea to energize the planet. They want to build a 6,800 mile long solar belt that would be the length of the Moon's equator. After converting it there, the power will be beamed back to Earth and turned into laser and microwave power. They figure that they can create energy 24/7 and will use robots to maintain the facility.

Via Shimizu

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April 30, 2010

Ripe Radish Glows and Grows

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Radishes may not be our favorite vegetables, but we are thinking that the bunnies that frequent our backyard may mistake them for the real thing. Designed by Arthur Xin, the "Ripe Radish" collects energy by day and glows red during the night. It also doubles as a flowerpot so that you can grow the real thing.

Via Yanko

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April 28, 2010

Last Resort - This Ain't Your Grandma's Houseboat

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Copenhagen's RAFFA Architecture & Designs have come up with the Last Resort, a solar-powered home that floats on water. A glorified houseboat, its solar array powers both the engine and the home itself. At a size of 5 x 15 meters, it has two decks and is large enough to have a living room, 2 bedrooms, kitchen and bath. Although still only at the design stage, the company has already gotten several orders for it. We so want one.

Via RAFFA

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April 7, 2010

Masdar First Zero Carbon City?

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Masdar plans to be the first zero carbon city. It is being designed by British architects Foster and Partners and will cost Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi, between $15 and 30 billion. A large solar farm will power the city and a circular field of mirrors send light towards a tower that will produce heat and power generators. Masdar will be using some electricity for air conditioning, desalinization and electronics, but the motto here is "Only use energy when you have exhausted design."

Via BBC

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April 6, 2010

ideal Star Creates Solar Thread

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The Tokyo based company ideal Star has developed a method to produce solar cells in flexible, thin threads. The first prototype is 5cm long and 0.8mm in diameter. The company claims that when they can make them longer, they can create sheets or fabric for curtains. While conversion efficiency is only around 3% for now, they say that up to 10% is possible. ideal Star hopes to commercialize the technology within the next five years and that mass production would be less expensive than that of standard silicon cells.

Via Headline News

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March 31, 2010

Maryland Students Build Portable Solar Classroom

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Pre-engineering students from Washington County Technical High School in Maryland designed a portable classroom with solar panels, grass walls, a green roof and other eco-friendly features. The display was so innovative that State Farm Insurance and SkillsUSA gave them a grant of $10,000 to make their design become reality. The group plans to use it to buy panels, an inverter and other materials.

Via Herald-Mail

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March 29, 2010

Solar Ivy is Flexible Energy

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Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology's pet project, Solar Ivy, is a system made with polyethylene leaves, plastic organic photovoltaics and stainless steel mesh to hold it all together. Each leaf produces about a half watt of power and leaves can be replaced if they malfunction. SMIT seems to have gotten it together as they seem anxious to get some backing and sell their systems. We have to admit we certainly like the design and flexibility.

Via Solar Ivy

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March 25, 2010

Birchway's Aesthetically Pleasing Eco-Community

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The Birchway Eco-Community was built in the London Borough of Hillingdon. Twenty four affordable 1 and 2 bedroom curvy housing units are available. The homes were pre-fabbed and already had kitchens and bathrooms installed. Designed by Acanthus LW Architects for Paradigm Housing, they feature solar thermal and panels, rainwater capture, high insulation, passive ventilation, heat recovery and a biomass boiler for heat and hot water.

Via Birchway

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SilverTree Tower Ready by 2010 Olympics

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A new residential tower may be built in the Borough of Newham, UK in time for the 2010 Olympics. The SilverTree will be 24 stories high with 2 colored panels that will supply energy from its solar panels as well as shading. Another side will house a vertical garden with terraces and balconies. Designed by Studio RHE, additional energy will be generated by a ground source heat pump. When completed, it will house 161 residents, an open deck, and has space for retail and business offices below.

Via World Architecture News

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March 18, 2010

Skyscraper To Purify Jakarta Water System

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The city of Jakarta was conceived as a water city but the 13 rivers that cross it are now polluted and have flooded the city. The Ciliwung Recovery Program will purify it again with a new skyscraper. When water runs through the building from the river, garbage is separated and contaminants are removed while good minerals are added. Finally, household waste gets reprocessed and the water is sent back to the river. The building also doubles as an energy generator that produces wind power and solar energy with a large reactor on the roof.

Via designboom

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March 17, 2010

Zep'lin, Spokesboat for Renault

Designer Damien Grossemy's Zep'lin is a vertical flying sailboat conceived for Renault. Solar panels tilt towards the sun for energy and lithium ion batteries store the extra energy. Expected to be built by 2015, the vehicle will be used to promote the car company's electric cars.

Via Damien Grossemy

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