From all categories: Green Building

Solar panels

A User-Friendly Guide to Solar for the Home

Until quite recently, most people thought of solar panels as expensive and impractical. However, thanks to several significant tax breaks and advances in solar technology, solar power is no longer the sole possession of the elite. More and more people are opting for the clean, environmentally-friendly energy offered by solar panels for the home. If Read the full article…

Hopeful plans for the future will bring solar energy to low income housing. | @ fotolia / Prod.

Solar Energy Plan for Low Income Homes

The White House has recently announced its intentions to make renewable solar energy a more viable option for owners or renters of low income housing. Part of a larger initiative to strengthen the state of renewable energy, this goal involves increasing the use of solar energy in federally subsidized homes by three times the amount Read the full article…

CHILLING WITH THE SUN

CHILLING WITH THE SUNAs we get into the hottest part of summer, more and more people are turning to the sun, not only to warm up but also to cool down.  Solar panels can be used to capture the sun’s rays and convert them into electricity for central air conditioning units, or solar a/c devices can be installed for those still deciding on a solar array.  According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners not using solar energy spend roughly $11 billion to run their air conditioners each year and release 100 million tons of carbon dioxide into the air.  Solar air conditioning solutions are a great alternative that can not only help people save money but also be more beneficial for the environment.

WYSIPS TECHNOLOGY, INVISIBILE TO THE EYE BUT FULL OF POWER-GENERATING CAPACITY

Wysips, the abbreviation for “What you see is photovoltaic surface,” is a transparent layer that can be used to generate power and charge the battery of the device in which it lies.  One idea French solar energy experts at SunPartner have is to use Wysips as a battery charger for mobile phones.  The see-through material, composed of micro-lenses and photovoltaic materials, can be installed beneath the screen of mobiles, built into add-on chargers, used in building windows, and in the future may even power watches, tablets, and laptops.

SOLAR PLANE SHOWS THE SKY’S THE LIMIT FOR SOLAR

SOLAR PLANE SHOWS THE SKY'S THE LIMIT FOR SOLARThe Solar Impulse plane has successfully landed at Washington D.C.‘s Dulles Airport after making its cross-country journey from San Francisco.  The plane does not have the normal jet engines, nor does it use an ounce of fuel.  Rather, the Solar Impulse plane is powered solely by the sun.  This single-passenger aircraft is part of an experimental project designed to highlight the possibilities for solar energy in the U.S. and worldwide.

SPORTS STADIUMS AND ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVES

Sports Stadiums and Environmental InitiativesThe San Francisco 49ers may have been 2013’s Super Bowl Runner-ups, but they could be #1 in LEED (“Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design”) standards by the start of next year’s football season. The new 49ers stadium is hoping to become the first pro football venue to get LEED certification with all of its green features, such as its on-site solar power, three “solar bridges” connecting the main parking lot to the stadium, and a 27,000 square foot green roof installation.

KENYAN ISLAND USES SOLAR PANELS TO HELP FIGHT MALARIA

SOLAR PANELS HELP STOP MALARIARusinga Island, located in the eastern part of Lake Victoria in Kenya, is having solar panels installedon homes to not only provide electricity but to aid in the fight against malaria.  Malaria kills an estimated 1.2 million people per year and is a big problem for the 30,000 inhabitants of Rusinga Island.  If fitting homes with solar panels that power insecticide-free mosquito traps proves successful in combating malaria, this project could be replicated in other remote areas of the world plagued by this disease.

SINGULARITY SOLAR ENERGY GIFTS LOW-INCOME HOUSING WITH SOLAR POWER

Singularity Solar Energy, a non-profit whose mission is to provide solar energy solutions to low-income homeowners in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, recently installed solar panels on the new home of a low-income resident with the help of Habitat for Humanity. This was the first of many solar donations the organization is planning on for the future, including installing a solar array on a second home in the same neighborhood as the first in the upcoming months.