World’s First Solar-Powered Phone: Now Available

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 …

First 100% Solar Powered Community In California Opens

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 …

The Midwest’s First Green Tower

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 …

First Japanese Solar Powered Condo

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 …

Energy From Waste Heat: Via Sound!

University of Utah physicists developed small devices that turn heat into sound and then into electricity. The technology holds promise for changing waste heat into electricity, harnessing solar energy and cooling computers. “We are converting waste heat to electricity in an efficient, simple way by using sound,” says Orest Symko, a University of Utah physics professor who leads the effort. …

HyperGreen Tower Concept

This is an interesting concept called the HyperGreen Tower by Jacques Ferrier, which was recently submitted to an architectural competition in Paris. The 246 meter tower design has an unusual curving exterior lattice facade made out of concrete that acts as the building’s primary structural system. This allows for adaptable floor plates and vegetated sky lobbies that sit between the …

The Tallest Building In Thailand Will Be Green

Asia generally lags behind the U.S. and Europe as far as the green-buildings movement goes. But there are signs that green architecture is starting to move more into the mainstream. The Ocean One Tower is a 91-story beachfront residential high-rise in the Thai resort town of Pattaya. Designed by Australia-based firm Woods Bagot, the building (set to be completed in …

Build Your Own High-Performance Hybrid Electric Bike

We recently featured the high-performance electric Optibike, which was mentioned in a New York Times article. Well, apparently you can build a equivalent electric bike for much less (for around $1,600). See the video for more details, and see notes on the bike’s design after the fold.

The Greenest Skyscaper In The U.S.?

This skyscraper, One Bryant Park, is being constructed on 42nd street in New York. The tower will be hard to miss: it has a faceted glass facade that maximizes the daylight entering the building, while minimizing the heat. The 54-story building is designed to earn the LEED Platinum rating (the highest designation from the U.S. Green Building Council), thereby setting …

PowerHub: Backup Power From Solar, Wind

Xantrex, a company well known the renewable energy world, is introducing a new product called the PowerHub. It’s a self-contained power storage system that can be recharged with DC power from solar cells or wind turbines. Additionally, It can be charged via an outlet using AC power.