The Solar Tower plant that was once constructed and successfully operated in Manzaneres, Spain, is now the prototype for Australian company Enviromission Limited’s Solar Tower plant. The 50 kilowatt tower in Spain, originally designed by Jorg Schlaich of Schlaich Bergermann Partners, ran from 1982 to 1989. Now Enviromission hopes to have their 200 megawatt scaled-up version running in Australia by 2008. So far, the location is thought to be Buronga in the Wentworth Shire of New South Wales.
Once built, it will be one of the world’s tallest structures. At 1,000 meters, its height alone makes the concept seem a bit surreal. But in reality, the plant has been proven to work and is based on some very simple and tangible principles: the greenhouse, the turbine and the chimney. The higher and wider the chimney, the greater the efficiency.
What do you get when you mix photovoltaic panles and LED bulbs into the side of your building? A zero dirty energy giant movie screen. This isn’t some concept or science fiction movie idea, its real and has already been designed and built in China. The company Greenpix a a group of architects and designers, have created this screen in Beijing China.
The Zero Energy Media Wall – is a groundbreaking project applying sustainable and digital media technology to the curtain wall of Xicui entertainment complex in Beijing, near the site of the 2008 Olympics. Featuring the largest color LED display worldwide and the first photovoltaic system integrated into a glass curtain wall in China, the building performs as a self-sufficient organic system, harvesting solar energy by day and using it to illuminate the screen after dark, mirroring a day’s climatic cycle.The project was designed and implemented by Simone Giostra & Partners, a New York-based office with a solid reputation for its innovative curtain walls in Europe and the US, with lighting design and façade engineering by Arup in London and Beijing.
Just out the edge of the town of Empoli, the building is the Cabel headquarters (a company producing software systems for banks), it measures 4.500 square meters and it is sited inside the local industrial area.
Partially set into the ground, the building is composed of two extended floors out the ground level and a vault under. Along the main front the facade is protected by a long slice of public green.
The visitor arrives on the ground level through three suspended bridges launched on a large excavation which lights the vault designed to house expositions and art installations. Night time this empty space becomes a lighting pool which raises architecture from the ground.
Ross Lovegrove’s Solar Trees are catching both eyes and rays.
Installed outside Vienna’s MAK Museum as part of the MAKDesignNite program, these glowing self-powered “trees” are the creations of Welsh designer Lovegrove in cooperation with Artemide, the Italian lighting innovator, and Sharp Solar, the globe’s solar cell leader. Powered entirely by solar technology – the panels atop the canopy collect the sun’s energy for later use – these remarkable fixtures are fully free-standing and are not even wired into the grid.
If I lived in Taiwan, this would be my next car. Sure, it looks funny. Kind of like a golf cart with solar panels on top. But what it doesn’t look like is a carbon spewing, gas guzzling SUV. Which is precisely why I want it.
This baby emits nothing but good, clean solar powered fun. Designed by researchers and engineering students at Taiwan’s National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, it comes equipped with lithium-polymer batteries that run for about three hours after being charged by the sun’s rays. Its body is comprised of Nomex honeycomb, a fiber created for aviation by Dupont. It’s light weight, fire resistant and good on impact.
The biggest impediment to adopting renewing energy sources has got to be the cost. I mean no individual can afford solar plant power in their backyard, right?
In fact, a recent scientific breakthrough could allow you to do just that. In what is quite possibly the coolest concept to come outta Jersey since The Sopranos, researchers at the New Jersey Institute of Technology have developed inexpensive solar cells that can be painted or printed on flexible plastic sheets.
Heads and thumbs up for the greenest sailors on the blue highway, Solar Sailor Holdings. An Australian company focused on hybrid marine power and solar wing technology, Solar Sailor came about when founder Robert Dane was watching the 1996 Canberra boat race. That year, the winning boat used a solar panel inclined toward the sun. The only problem with the concept was that as the wind grew stronger, the panel became a hazard and had to be pulled down. This intrigued Dane enough to start wondering how to combine sun and wind to power a modern, seaworthy boat. Dane, a doctor, ex-NSW green ambassador, avid sailor and rower says, “I started reading about evolution and learned that insects had initially used wings as solar collectors and only later used them to fly. This made me think that boats, too, could evolve wings to collect solar power – not to allow them to fly, but to allow them to sail.”
Dane realized he could use a wing sail that doubled as a solar collector, and could adapt to sudden changes in weather by folding it onto the ship’s roof. Unlike the inspirational 1996 race boat, Dane’s sail could collect solar energy without destabilizing the boat. He registered the idea at the patent office and took his first solar sailing boat back to the Canberra race in 1997. In 1999, he founded Solar Sailor Holdings Ltd., with Bob Hawke (ex Prime Minister of Australia) coming on board as Chairman. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos