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Honda’s Silcion-Free Solar Cells

by Justin Thomas •

Honda has begun selling new thin-film solar cells in Japan. The solar cells are made with a compound of copper, indium, gallium and selenium (CIGS), rather than the conventional silicon. The cells are said to be “greener” because there is less carbon dioxide generated during their production. Some pundits believe that CIGS cells may become the low cost photovoltaic cell …

Multifaceted Eco-Tower For Siberia

by Justin Thomas •

Woah, plans are afoot to build this tower above the skyline of Khanty Mansiysk in Siberia. Set high on a hill in a densely wooded area, the tower rises above two podium buildings each faceted like a cut diamond, reflecting and refracting natural light to illuminate the interior. It will be a mixed-use building, providing amenities for the city.

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25 Houses Under 3000 Square Feet

by Justin Thomas •

As the Small House Society points out, compact homes are efficient in many ways: they require less power, they require less maintenance, they require less materials to build, and they have smaller environmental footprint. Another advantage is that you can invest in land, rather than spend money building a huge home.

Solar Decathalon Preview

by Justin Thomas •

The Solar Decathlon is a competition held every four years in Washington D.C. The next Decathlon will be held in October, and twenty universities from around the world will be vying to build this year’s most efficient solar house. I’ll definitely be there to test the bedsprings and scrutinize the efficiency of the homes. But for those who can’t wait, …

6

A Zero Emissions House

by Justin Thomas •

(1) Wind Catcher for summer ventilation (2) Solar Array for electricity and hot water (3) High Level of Insulation (4) Biomass Boiler In the UK, various companies are building cutting-edge green homes as part of the Offsite 2007 Exhibition. Yesterday saw the official launch of a “zero emissions house” called the Lighthouse built by the Kingspan company. It will be …

2

Rapid-Charging Electric SUV Demonstrated

by Justin Thomas •

Recently, Phoenix Motorcars demonstrated their plug-in electric SUV that will go on sale in 2008. The SUV uses AltairNano’s fast-charge lithium-ion battery technology for power. The vehicle has a top speed of about 100 miles per hour, and its range is about 250 miles. Here’s a video of the SUV in action.

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World’s First Solar-Powered Phone: Now Available

by Justin Thomas •

We’ve seen prototypes for solar-powered cell phones, but now a Chinese company claims to have developed the world’s first commercially available solar-powered cellphone. The company says a scale-like solar panel on the top side of the phone can also be recharged by light from artificial sources. It can provide 40 minutes of talk-time after sitting in the sun for an …

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First 100% Solar Powered Community In California Opens

by Justin Thomas •

Solara is the first apartment community in California to be fully powered by the sun. The 56-unit apartment community, which opened yesterday, has some pretty impressive green features. The community has rooftop solar arrays that provide 140 kilowatts of power in total. The solar panels provide 100% power for the entire residential complex, and, on some days, provides surplus electricity …

2

The Midwest’s First Green Tower

by Justin Thomas •

The Roberts Tower, will be the first certified-green high-rise building in the Midwest. It has been designed to achieve a Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficient Design) Certification by the US Green Building Council. The condos will have bamboo floors, high-efficiency insulated windows and efficient appliances. They will also use geothermal energy for heating and cooling, and a wind turbine …

2

First Japanese Solar Powered Condo

by Justin Thomas •

This condo complex, called the Grandia Solare, is said to be the first of its kind in Japan. Each apartment gets 1530 watts of solar power from the building’s roof. Apparently the solar cells are owned by a third-party, so the upfront cost of the panels was not passed on to the condo’s residents. The condo also has a number …