Tag Archives: Solar power

Swedish University Students Design Modern Solar-Powered Home (PHOTOS)

Team Sweden, consisting of 25 students from Chalmers University, recently developed this environmentally-friendly group house that is powered entirely by the sun. Halo is a sustainable living concept that began as a rough sketch and eventually emerged into a full-scale, functioning building.

The 645-square-foot circular design was intended to foster group living by providing smaller private rooms and larger amounts of shared communal space throughout the home. The team’s motto for the project was, “Shared space is double space.”

The contemporary concept was constructed with renewable materials, including Swedish spruce used to form the main structure, and wood fiber used for interior insulation. Solar cells compose the large exterior roof and absorb solar power to create an energy-efficient living space.

As a result of the team’s innovative ideas and dedication to the project, the building concept won third place in the international student competition, Solar Decathlon, earlier this year.


Eco-Friendly Mobile Floating Architecture – off the grid solar home (PHOTOS)


Taking it one step beyond “houseboat,” UK-based Kingsley Architects has designed its own brand of modern, low-carbon, mobile floating architecture, and dubbed it the SolarHome.


Is there anything this cool home doesn’t do? Located in the Lusatian Lakelands of Germany, this organic-formed floating piece of architecture was designed to blend with the nature that surrounds it.


The 75m2 SolarHome reinvents the concept of a camper van. SolarHome features eco-friendly, off-the-grid solar power, and has been designed to operate in one of two modes – Docked Mode, which requires some infrastructure for power, fresh water and water treatment; while in Self Sufficient Mode,


SolarHome can operate for a period of six to 12 months without any service requirements. How does that float your boat? For more information, visit Kingsley Architects.


Germany Now Produces Half Of Its Energy Using Solar

Germany has set a new record, with solar power providing 50.6% of its electricity in the middle of the day on Monday June 9th. Solar production peaked that day at 23.1GW. Three days earlier it was 24.2GW between 1 and 2pm, but on the 9th demand was down for a public holiday, allowing the breaking of the psychological 50% barrier.

Reporting of the achievement has been quite inaccurate in some cases. Coverage has often confused electricity demand with total energy consumption, which properly includes heating and industrial uses of natural gas, although these would have been low on a warm public holiday. Headlines have often implied that the 50% threshold was exceeded for over a fortnight, rather than a single hour.

Nevertheless, the scale of the achievement is considerable. Germany is not a sunny place. Indeed more than 90% of the world’s population lives in countries with substantially more sunlight.

Consequently, it is wind, rather than solar, that has been the backbone of Germany’s Energiewende, the transition to renewable, non-polluting sources of power.

The shift to solar energy in Germany has not come cheap, with €16 billion of subsidies in 2013. However, by creating a level of demand that spurred mass manufacturing, Germany has played a large part in bringing the cost of solar panels down by 80% in five years, allowing other countries to follow in its footsteps for a fraction of the price, particularly those with more sunlight.

Moreover, where the initial stages of the move to wind were driven by government subsidies, solar power in Germany can now compete with fossil fuels on price alone, andcontinues to expand, albeit at a slower rate than a few years ago.

German solar production is up 34% compared to the same time last year as a result of both better weather and increased installations. While the first is unpredictable, increasing quantities of panels ensure that the 50% record will be breached again, probably this year.

This Tiny, Self-Sufficient Mobile Home Operates Off-Grid in Any Locale

The architects designed Chamfer Home to be an "autonomous prefab, serving as the perfect vacation home." Image courtesy www.materialicious.com
The architects designed Chamfer Home to be an “autonomous prefab, serving as the perfect vacation home.” Image courtesy http://www.materialicious.com

The Chamfer Home is a mobile home that is ecologically sustainable, stylish and caters to the contemporary mobile lifestyle. This tiny self sufficient, portable living unit is made from eco-friendly materials. It can operate completely off the grid by adapting to different needs, uses solar power and is completely self-sustaining. It can be anchored almost anywhere, serving as the perfect vacation home.

The Chamfer Home’s stylish open living space features floor-to-ceiling windows, which allows natural light and great views of the landscape. The interior space can be enlarged to reach 27 sq. meters.

The interiors of this holiday home are very sleek. The big glass windows, bright colored plastic panels of the inner walls and stylish furniture make the interiors of this small prefab cabin very attractive.

It also boasts an efficient heating and cooling system, , daylight utilization, solar collectors for hot water supply, special double glazed windows and more.

Built with sustainable materials, this eco-friendly home is as stylish as it is multi-functional. It optimizes all usable spaces and offers amenities of a larger home, including a fully functional kitchen and a bathroom.

Freeing the Grid: Net metering & interconnection (VIDEO)

Net metering and interconnection are two of the most important state policies for making sure America’s homes, schools and businesses can produce their own electricity from solar and other renewables. Visit freeingthegrid.org to see if your state makes the grade.

Kyocera floats mega solar power plant in Japan

following the devastating earthquake and tsunami off the coast of japan in 2011 — a disaster which brought monumental nuclear accidents to affected cities — the country has had an increasing motivation to consider and exercise solar energy production. japanese electronics manufacturer kyocera has recently unveiled a 70 megawatt solar power plant in kagoshima prefecture, now becoming japan’s largest utility-scale facility. a restructured fit program launched by the government stipulated the requirement of local utilities to purchase 100% of the power generated from solar installations of more than 10 kilowatts for a period of 20 years, a promotion for the use of renewable energy. the major project that began in july 2012 has finally begun operation on november 1st, 2013.

‘kagoshima nanatsujima mega solar power plant’ sits off the coast of southern japan, overlooking the ocean bay and grand sakurajima volcano. occupying 1.27 million square meters — roughly the same area as 27 baseball stadiums — the massive plant is comprised of 290,000 arranged panels. an adjacent tour facility provides visitors, students, and tourists with expansive panoramas of the facility from a circular viewing room and relevant information about environmental issues, a stimulus in the understanding of renewable energy resources for the public sphere.