Comments20/02/2017 #5 Claire 🐝 CardwellSolar-power system could provide clean drinking water in rural India for the first time. A solar-powered purification system could slake the thirsts of rural India with clean drinking water for the first time. This would be no ordinary feat. Tens of millions of people in India lack access to potable water, and roughly 600,000 Indian children die every year from water- and sanitation-related diseases like diarrhea or pneumonia, according to UNICEF. In the country’s most far-flung regions, where 70 percent of India’s population lives, toxic bacteria routinely fouls at least half of the water supply. But while the Indian government has focused its efforts on treating surface water in rivers and streams, researchers from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland want to attack the source of contamination: sewage.
They’ve developed a system that uses sunlight to induce high-energy particles within a photocatalytic material, which uses light to generate a chemical reaction. These, in turn, activate molecules of oxygen, mobilizing them to destroy bacteria and other organic matter.
Because the materials require no power source, an off-grid system requires little more than attaching the photocatalyst to containers of contaminated water and angling them toward the sun until they’re safe to drink. If necessary, the system could be used in tandem with a filter to catch larger particles.
- 20/02/2017Scientists hatch crazy $500 billion plan to refreeze the Arctic. As governments make slow progress towards alleviating climate change and denial marks the Trump Administration’s approach to the global crisis, scientists have hatched a crazy $500 billion scheme to refreeze the Arctic. Led by physicist Steven Desch of Arizona State University, a team of 14 scientists concocted a plan to replenish Arctic sea ice using ten million wind-powered pumps.
The strategy involves deploying millions of renewably-powered pumps to send water onto the surface of Arctic ice during the winter. In theory, that water would then freeze, thickening the ice before summer. Desch said the pumps could add around three feet to the current layer of sea ice. If the ice is thicker, he argued, it would last longer and reduce the danger of sea ice vanishing completely during the summer.
The paper’s abstract states that the Arctic could be utterly devoid of summer sea ice by the year 2030. If that occurs, the ocean would absorb the sunlight it once reflected – so replenishing sea ice now is an imperative. The paper goes on to state that the 2015 Paris agreement won’t be enough to halt the consequences of global warming.
- 16/02/2017This smog-fighting music academy will have an air purifier as effective as 33,000 trees. The Polish city of Krakow has some of the worst air pollution in the world. In hopes of improving the city’s air quality, FAAB Architektura proposed a smog-fighting music academy fitted with a German air purification system that they say works effectively as 33,000 city trees. The music academy was designed as part of a larger “Krakow Music City” masterplan that envisions a largely car-free and environmentally friendly development atop a former military base.
Located between Krakow and the Vistula River, the proposed masterplan is designed to blend into the natural landscape with its vernacular wooden lap panel cladding and use of energy-efficient technologies. Around 1,300 square meters of a Green City Solutions-developed air purification product would be embedded in the music academy’s moss-covered rooftops. The special moss culture converts air pollutants into biomass.
- 01/02/2017The end of air conditioning? Asia architects use green solutions to cool buildings.
Spend five minutes in humid Ho Chi Minh City and you'll probably be running for cover into the nearest air-conditioned refuge.
In the Vietnamese city -- and many developing subtropical countries across Asia, such as Indonesia and the Philippines -- air conditioning (AC) is increasingly being considered a necessity.
But one architecture firm is advocating a different way to keep cool.
T3 Architecture Asia, which has offices in Vietnam and France, specializes in back-to-basics "bioclimatic architecture", which it says could make energy-guzzling AC units redundant.
By harnessing the local topography, climate, and vegetation, as well as cleverly manipulating a building's orientation, the firm can naturally create a comfortable indoor climate.
"It is crucial for all new building designs in cities to encompass bioclimatic architectural features," Myles McCarthy, director of implementation at the Carbon Trust consultancy and research firm, tells CNN.
"As demands in Asian cities for buildings -- both domestic and commercial -- increases, and the need for higher density living continues to climb with urban populations, it will be crucial to ensure this growth does not drive energy and water consumptions higher."
- 01/02/20178 surprising uses for hemp that could make the world a greener place -
Hemp isn’t just for hackin’ the sack at Phish shows or making rope. This amazing plant, a non-psychoactive variety of cannabis grown specifically for industrial purposes, has a vast number of applications for a greener planet. Cultivated hemp grows quickly in a wide variety of climates and does not degrade the soil in which it is grown.
Comments01/02/2017 #7 Chas ✌️ Wyatt#5 Yes, @Claire 🐝 Cardwell, it is ironic that in the U.S. farmers in the mid-west were encouraged to grow hemp to help with the war effort during WWII. (rope, cloth, cordage, etc.). The U.S. Dept. of agriculture even put out a film titled "Hemp for Victory". That is why in states such as Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma, it has become naturalized and grows on its own accord. Competing industries such as cotton (clothing), timber and oil (oil from hemp is a great lubricant) demonized it to put it out of business and make it illegal.01/02/2017 #5 Claire 🐝 Cardwell@Chas ✌️ Wyatt It's incredible how many uses that Hemp has, you can make plastic, houses, electrical wires, bio fuel and even an aeroplane has been built! I can only imagine that it's been banned because of the competition with big business and the fact that it belongs to the Cannabis family. I read once that you would have to smoke nearly a ton of hemp in ten minutes to feel a very slight effect....01/02/2017 #3 Chas ✌️ Wyatt@Claire 🐝 Cardwell, thank you. There is a company in Canada which produces fiberboard from hemp that is more durable than fiberboard that is produced from woodchips. Also, I seen a hundred-year-old bible that was printed on paper made from hemp pulp and the pages were still white, unlike paper made from wood pulp which yellows and deteriorates after a short period of time.
- ProducerBuilding Green? Here's some tips.In South Africa we have had 2 years of unusually warm weather and a drought. The coal reserves are set to run out by 2020. It is now vitally important to be environmentally aware and active. According to the Zero Energy Project, the construction...
Comments01/02/2017 #15 Claire 🐝 Cardwell@Lisa 🐝 Gallagher - I've just spotted this link :- The end of air conditioning? Asia architects use green solutions to cool buildings
http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/31/architecture/t3-architecture-asia-bioclimatic-architecture/01/02/2017 #13 Claire 🐝 CardwellHi @Lisa 🐝 Gallagher - these aren't my photos - I will post some soon, they are taken with a small digital camera - I was using film up until I couldn't get it anymore.... I am saving up for a 'back' that will fit on my long lens. I get most of my images that I use in my posts from Free Images.com. As far as A/C is concerned I used to live in Singapore with my parents when I was a teenager. We lived in an old colonial house with deep eaves, very high ceilings and a really v. good cross flow of air. The Lounge was open on three sides. The living rooms were also quite large. However it was a different story at night - the bedrooms were small and only had one window, so we couldn't just rely on a ceiling fan. The trouble is that most houses today are not designed that way and get uncomfortably hot in the summer months. All I can suggest is that you get good insulation in your roof....01/02/2017 #12 Lisa 🐝 GallagherGreat info @Claire 🐝 Cardwell! I am addicted to my A/C during the hot/humid months. What do people do in order to keep their homes cool and free from a lot of humidity, there must be solutions for that too. Using Central Air really costs a lot of money when the electric bill arrives. The photos I see you post, are some of them yours? I love photography, would love to see more of yours!01/02/2017 #6 Devesh Bhatt#5 it does, it is essential for the Developed countries and critical for developing countries.
I had submitted a paper here, lobbying didn't get it started. Idea was simple
Public toilets which produce power and compost ...But the special part was cashless incentives for waste collectors and green tops for air pollution, plus they could sell it to the grid or electric vehicles.
Functional, possible, sustainable with low maintenance on far off areas in tourist places, villages, highways etc.
Does it appeal to you. If yes we can discuss.01/02/2017 #5 Claire 🐝 CardwellThanks @Devesh Bhatt - v. pleased you enjoyed my article. It makes commercial sense to build green and in many cases now it costs the same (or can be even cheaper) to construct an environmentally friendly building. There are many health benefits for the people living & working in green buildings - check out http://climatenewsnetwork.net/people-and-planet-benefit-from-green-buildings/01/02/2017 #2 Claire 🐝 CardwellThanks @David B. Grinberg! Glad you enjoyed the article. There have been studies recently that demonstrate that there are many benefits to a green building, apart from the energy saving aspect,
"Studies into 69,000 buildings − homes, offices and factories − in 150 countries show that there are fewer illnesses among residents and workers, who report they are more comfortable and happier. Employers also find they are more productive. Companies that opt for “green” buildings gain because workers stay longer in their jobs and have fewer absences, while recruitment is easier because new employees are attracted to environmentally-friendly buildings."
http://climatenewsnetwork.net/people-and-planet-benefit-from-green-buildings/01/02/2017 #1 David B. GrinbergThanks for this excellent advice, Claire. I've noticed here in the USA that many building are "going green" by having grass and plants covering the roof. I think that's catching on. Hopefully, mega corporations will think long and hard about the important issues you identified. We all need to remember that you can't fool Mother Nature!
- IKEA Foundation and UNHCR's refugee shelter has been named the 2016 Beazley Design of the Year by Design Museum in London, selected as the winner of Architecture category. Designed by Johan Karlsson, Dennis Kanter, Christian Gustafsson, John van Leer, Tim de Haas, Nicolò Barlera, temporary refugee shelter gives a response towards the global issue of population displacement.
Better Shelter pipped the 5 other category winners to claim the overall prize. Better Shelter is a social enterprise bringing design industry innovation to emergency and temporary shelter. The project has developed safer, more dignified homes for those who have been displaced due conflict and natural disasters.
Featuring a lockable front door and a solar powered wall, the shelter utilises flat-pack technology used in furniture design and has repurposed it to create a shelter that can be easily assembled and transported. Flat-packed in a two-box kit along with all the required tools, the shelter is easily assembled in about four hours. The photovoltaic panel provides enough energy to power the supplied light or to charge a mobile phone. 30,000 Better Shelters’ are already in use around the world and the judges chose Better Shelter as a clear demonstration of scalable design that has the ability to make a worldwide impact.
- A cement company has launched a new, more environmentally-friendly type of cement based on an old Roman recipe. HR Cement in Tauranga looked to ancient Roman concrete mixtures for inspiration for its low-carbon footprint cement, eco-cem. The company has combined ancient methods with modern manufacturing techniques to create the more eco-friendly cement. According to a report by CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), the global cement industry accounted for 5 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas and about 900 kilograms of carbon dioxide was emitted for the creation of every 1000kg of cement.
HR Cement says the New Zealand construction industry uses about 1.5 million tonnes of cement every year.
Managing director Chris Hall said eco-cem had the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of concrete used on construction sites by 15 per cent to 30 per cent.
The new cement uses a material called pozzolan.
Comments01/02/2017 #2 Ken Boddie#1 Nothing really new about pozzolans, Claire, which have been used for many years to supplement Portland cement as additives. A pozzolanic reaction really only describes the cementing that occurs when finely ground siliceous or aluminous materials are added, along with water, to calcium hydroxide. I must admit to being a little suspicious of such claims as stated in this article, and fear that there may be a little bit of climbing on the 'green' band wagon. It is well known that the Romans developed and expanded upon existing basic pozzolanic practices in their constructions, but the cement industry has achieved major technological innovation since then and is pretty diverse overall. As in all aspects of a highly competitive building and construction, the client, designer and contractor (not to forget the various national standards specifiers) need to have access to a reliable product or products with good 'close-to-site' availability at a competitive price, a material with well proven performance and workability, and good technical support. 'Green' on its own will not, I believe, be a marketing edge that will sell to hardcore builders.
- RENEWABLE ENERGY PROVIDES 99% OF ALL NEW U.S. ELECTRICAL GENERATING CAPACITY IN OCTOBER 2013 - Renewable sources now account for nearly 16% of total installed U.S. operating generating capacity: water – 8.30%, wind – 5.21%, biomass – 1.32%, solar – 0.59%, and geothermal steam – 0.33%. * This is more than nuclear (9.22%) and oil (4.06%) combined.RENEWABLE ENERGY PROVIDES 99% OF ALL NEW U.S. ELECTRICAL GENERATING CAPACITY IN OCTOBER 2013 - Green Building Elementsgreenbuildingelements.com solar, biomass, and wind "units" provided 694 MW of new electrical generating capacity last month or 99.3% of all new...
- 30/01/2017At blinged-out Trump hotels, 'green' isn't part of the brand.
The website for President Trump's 52-story Manhattan luxury hotel boasts the best rooms money can buy.
The five-star, five-diamond hotel, where room prices start at $400 a night, offers nanny services and provides each guest with a personal Trump attache. Guests can relax at the Trump spa or dine at Jean Georges, a Michelin 3-star "sophisticated New French eatery."
But while Trump's showcase hotel checks every box in terms of luxury, it's a laggard in one area — how efficiently it uses energy. The 397,000-square-foot building on the southwestern corner of Central Park scored an 8 on a scale of 1 to 100, according to the city of New York's most recent energy benchmarking data.
- 30/01/2017Speaker explores ways to develop a more sustainable community. Building green represents a “mindset” that does not necessarily come with a premium, says a leading expert in the field.
Thomas Mueller, founding director, president and chief executive officer of the Canada Green Building Council, made these comments last week, as he was preparing to speak during the second edition of Saanich Talks organized by the District of Saanich.
Titled “A liveable urban future” and held at Uptown shopping centre, the event explored ideas to develop a sustainable community.
As head of the Canada Green Building Council responsible for programs and standards such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), Mueller spoke about the role of green buildings in transitioning to more sustainable communities, bringing real-life examples from other communities.
- 29/01/2017Trump forces environment agency to delete all climate change references from its websitewww.independent.co.uk The Trump administration is forcing the Environmental Protection Agency to delete all of its pages on climate change. The move comes as part of a much broader crackdown on postings by all agencies who track the effects of global warming on the...
- 28/01/2017Futuristic green city design runs like a real rainforest in Malaysia. If money were no object, what would the ideal city of the future look like? Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA) answered that question with a spectacular design for the Forest City, a proposed masterplan for a new city in Malaysia. This 20-square-kilometer green smart city would be built around a central rainforest and mimic the forest’s ecosystem by adopting a closed loop system that reuses all its resources and controls out-flow.
Winner of the second place prize in an international design competition, the Forest City was created for a 24-hectare site and judged on its efficiency of land use, sensitivity to the environment, and inclusion of a landmark building that embodied the notion of a forest city. “Skylines across the world look the same—usually a couple of iconic towers in the center surrounded by lots of lesser quality buildings, which all resemble each other,” said Chris Bosse, director of LAVA. “Here we have designed an inverse city skyline where the icon of the city is a public space, not an object/building. Our central space is a Rainforest Valley and demonstrates the equation: PEOPLE = CITY. From an object to a place.”
The proposed city for 700,000 people would be located on reclaimed land between Malaysia and Singapore and include office towers, residential areas, parks, hotels, shopping malls, and an international school. The city is organized around a central public space, the Rainforest Valley, which is surrounded by a waterfall and serves as a visual reminder of the city as a three-dimensional ecosystem. The valley extends like fingers in five directions to represent the five elements—wood, fire, earth, metal, and water—as well as the five pillars of sustainability.
- Producer27/01/2017Green Building and Sustainability by Jack LakenOur climate is changing. A shift in the number of wildfires, tsunamis, earthquakes, droughts, and heavy rainfalls has been attributed to climate change. These changes have had an impact on agriculture and wildlife, including the introduction of new...
- 26/01/2017More than 400 Architecture Firms address Donald Trump on Climate Change in an Open Letter - Right before Donald Trump’s inauguration last Friday, more than four hundred American architecture firms—such as Leers Weinzapfel Associates, Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects, Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects, Lake Flato, and ZGF Architects LLP—signed an open letter addressed to the incoming president regarding climate change, writes Allison Meier of Hyperallergic. The campaign was organized by the Chicago-based organization Architects Advocate, which formed in September.
The letter asks that Trump, who has denied that climate change exists, commit himself to finding more sources of renewable energy, providing funding for renewable energy technologies, and honoring the Paris Climate Agreement. Right before leaving office, Barack Obama transferred $500 million to the Green Climate Fund. This subsidy goes toward the $3 billion Obama promised on behalf of the agreement—the US currently owes $2 billion more, according to The Guardian. It is now up to Trump as to whether or not the full agreement will be met.
In the letter, the architects state that they “are dedicated to creating healthy, productive, and safe communities for all” in a “way that is economically viable, socially equitable, and environmentally sustainable.” Trump nominated Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt has spoken out against the government regulating water and air pollution
- 25/01/2017Students build solar devices for rural hospital in Africa - A group of graduate students at Grand Valley State University recently created devices that provide solar power when electricity fails at a rural hospital in Malawi. They then made the 22-hour trip to southeastern Africa to deliver and install the devices, according to a press release.
Embangweni Mission Hospital is in an area where electricity is often disconnected, and the results can be fatal.
Martha Sommers, an American physician currently working in Madagascar, frequently experienced this problem when she spent time at the hospital performing emergency surgeries, like C-sections.
"When the power went out, we relied on a flashlight and we no longer had the ability to use a suction tool to clear fluid from wounds," Sommers said. "This happened many times when we were working to save a mother and her child. Many times the patient died."
To combat this problem, students in the engineering master's degree program created a portable power system for the hospital in 2012. The system was used so often that hospital staff requested more devices.
To read more go to: - https://www.proudgreenbuilding.com/news/students-build-solar-devices-for-rural-hospital-in-africa/
- 24/01/2017Will these houses make you dizzy? Architects build rotating homes. Imagine living in a house that follows the direction of the sun when it's hot. Or one that offers a different view out of your bedroom window every day of the week. For some bold homeowners this is becoming a reality, thanks to an innovative wave of architects who are re-imagining the concept of the house. Once something firmly routed to the ground, homes are now becoming moving entities that can rotate, change shape, and even adapt to the seasons. - http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/22/architecture/rotating-homes/
Comments25/01/2017 #4 CityVP 🐝 Manjit#3 The way I think about it Claire, either we live in architecture or we live in a hovel. There is a bit of my DNA that gravitates to the top of the world and see's the majesty in a revolving restaurant - just as I see the grounding that the words "Livable City" provides as in the words of Jan Gehl.
- 24/01/2017Colorado man builds state’s most energy efficient house - Passive House is a globally-recognized building design technique that promises huge cuts in energy use for any kind of building in any climate. In a nutshell, the Passive House Design strategy relies on airtight buildings, super insulation, fresh air exchange and precise energy modeling. To read more go to:- http://inhabitat.com/colorado-man-single-handedly-builds-states-most-energy-efficient-house/
- 16/01/2017NEXT Solar Window Coating Generates Free Electricity From Sunlight - they have developed a scalable solar window coating that allows commercial glass products to produce clean energy from the sun. The product pays for itself in a year and provides clean energy for up to 30 years. - http://greenbuildingelements.com/2016/06/29/next-solar-window-coating-generates-free-electricity-sunlight/
- 17/12/2016New recycled plastic sidewalk harvests energy from the sun -Imagine a colorful modular paving system that snaps together “like LEGO bricks” replacing dull pavements currently populating today’s concrete jungles. Hungarian startup Platio designed that paving system to make our sidewalks do more for us. Their paving system, made with recycled plastic, offers firm ground while harvesting clean energy from the sun.
Platio’s paving system harvests power from the sun via monocrystalline silicon cells inside tempered glass. TechCrunch says a plastic backing enables the system to dodge damage when people walk on it. The pavement modules connect in such a manner that doesn’t necessitate extra wiring; according to Platio, “The units are compact and modularly connect together making electronic contact without additional wiring by a powerline communication systems which connects automatically during the establishment.”
The pavement reportedly generates 160 watts per square meter, or per 10 square feet, according to Treehugger. Platio offers the paving in three colors, and is also working to create another innovative system to harvest energy from footsteps.
- 14/12/2016Google just announced that it will be fully powered by renewables before the end of 2017. The tech giant has been growing its solar and wind investments over the years, and is now making a final push to achieve 100 percent renewable energy through additional purchases. Google initially announced its 100-percent goal in 2012, and this week’s announcement confirms the company will hit the target next year. http://inhabitat.com/google-says-it-will-run-entirely-on-renewable-energy-by-next-year/
Comments14/12/2016 #2 Randy KehoThese wind farms are generating a lot of controversy in my neck of the woods, which is northern Illinois.
There's a large one that's been in operation for a few years that stretches for miles across some of the best farmland in the world. It's a very rural area.
They were able to get enough farmers to allow the turbines to be built in the middle of their fields to make it profitable. The independent farmers rent the land to the organization, partly due to the competition they face from "corporate" farming groups. Just like any other small business, it's getting more and more difficult to compete against the big boys.
However, entire communities are now banding together to oppose these large wind farms because they're beginning to encroach upon their city limits. They don't make much noise, just a continual "swoosh," but no one wants to look out their window are see a forest of these turbines.
One recently proposed wind farm has been turned away, forced to look elsewhere.
I used to have two of these turbines virtually in my backyard during the mid-80s. My yard bumped up against land owned by a community college. They were hoping to reduce their energy costs by becoming self-sufficient.
However, the area failed to generate enough wind to make it feasible, and, after 20 years of sitting dormant, they were sold and removed.
They were also not much more than prototypes, and were shutdown for maintenance and repair more often than they were in operation. It was like a science project.
- 14/12/2016Floating Paris gym uses human energy to cruise down the Seine River
Italian architects Carlo Ratti Associati have unveiled a new design for a floating gym powered by human energy. Designed to meander down the Seine River, the 20-meter-long Paris Navigating Gym would be powered by Technogym‘s revolutionary ARTIS exercise machines, which harvest power generated by the fitness enthusiasts inside.
Comments14/12/2016 #2 Deb 🐝 HelfrichMeander down the Seine? No Parisian is going to take exercise to begin with, there appears no shower, so no one going to work can even consider it. This has to be marketed to tourists!
Innovative concept, it was just too jarring to equate the words meandering & exercise.
- 12/12/2016Sweden’s famed ICEHOTEL, perhaps the “coolest” hotel in the world, has just unveiled a permanent luxury lodge made entirely of ice. The newly-designed ICEHOTEL 365 has all of the chilly charm of its sister hotel, but will be open 365 days a year thanks to state-of-the-art solar-powered cooling technology that will keep the structure frozen during summer months. http://inhabitat.com/swedens-new-icehotel-365-uses-solar-cooling-to-stay-open-all-year-round/
- 07/12/2016Non-profit organization OHorizons recently created an innovative BioSand Filter that can deliver clean water at 1/10th of the cost of traditional methods. The filter hinges upon an open-source Wood Mold that can be easily built by anyone using the construction manual, which is available for free online.
The team of technical, social, and commercial professionals at OHorizons creates simple, easily implemented, low-tech applications that empower communities without the need for external capital or expertise.When designing new products, they follow certain principles to ensure wide adoption. The design must be simple, low-cost, locally sourced, flexible to meet the needs of different communities, and open-source (available to the public, non-proprietary). As such, the Wood Mold is accessible by anyone via the open-source, online construction manual. Literacy, technical skills, or electricity is not required, though the user needs some way to acquire the blueprint. OHorizons collaborates with local organizations that are already active in local community development, including LEDARS Bangladesh, which supports the construction and distribution of the Wood Mold manual in that country. OHorizons also supports projects in Ecuador, Kenya, and Mali.
Over the past year and a half, over 400 people or organizations have downloaded the Wood Mold Construction Manual to create their own locally sourced BioSand filters. As a result of these distributed Wood Molds and the collaborative work to utilize them, 5,500 people have gained access to sustainable safe drinking water access in their homes in 2016. Based on their success so far, OHorizons has set the ambitious goal of providing 1 million people in Bangladesh with safe drinking water access, via the Wood Mold BioSand filters, by 2021.
- 06/12/2016Scientists blend photosynthesis and quantum physics to improve solar cells. Four physicists at the University of California, Riverside decided to blend photosynthesis and quantum physics to work towards greener solar cells. Plants effectively regulate energy flow from the sun, but since current affordable man-made solar cells hover around just 20 percent efficiency, the scientists decided to take cues from vegetation.
Current solar cells require feedback controllers and voltage converters to manage fluctuations in the amount of energy streaming from the sun, and end up wasting loads of energy. Their lack of efficiency is one hurdle standing in the way of mass adoption. But plants don’t need such hindering mechanisms. The UC Riverside team decided to reevaluate solar energy conversion in light of both photosynthesis’ efficiency and quantum physics principles.
The physicists created what UC Riverside calls a novel kind of quantum heat engine photocell, a device that assists in the sunshine-to-electricity conversion process. Their new photocell draws on two quantum mechanical photocell systems that absorb either one or two colors of light, allowing the photocell to alternate between absorbing light at high and low power. According to UC Riverside, this innovation could allow a photocell to “convert varying levels of solar power into a steady-state output.”
For UC Riverside assistant professor Nathan Gabor, who took part in the research, the journey to a better solar cell started in 2010 with the simple question, “Why are plants green?” He found out no one truly understands why, and decided to search for an answer. His quest, drawing on his physics background melded with deeper study into biology, may unlock the secrets to a more effective solar cell.
Comments06/12/2016 #2 Ken Boddie#1 Thanks for this interesting article, Claire. I'm still experiencing some of the ups and downs of the solar industry here in Oz and have worked my way through a few 'cowboy' installers. But it looks like the future is looking much better than my so called 'state of the art' investment for my own roof 5 years ago. My solar panels are doing well but it seems that they work most efficiently at low temperature. Daytime temperatures here in Queensland average in the upper twenties (Celsius) for most of the year and get up into the thirties in the summer, but when we get an occasional 10 degrees or less at night time, then the power spike when they start up at dawn can cause damage to the inverter. I'm now on my third inverter but have now hopefully found an installation/maintenance company with sustainable knowledge and performance to mqtch the sustainable energy concept. Looking forward to the high and low power absorption concept becoming commercial reality, although I can't pretend to understand the photosynthesis / quantum physics solar principles.
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