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A Stylish Solar Charger for Your Gadgets

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A few years ago, the company Rawlemon designed a spherical lens solar generator, which works better to capture solar energy than a regular solar panel array, and looks much better. The original Rawlemon spherical lens solar generator was created by a Barcelona designer and architect André Broessel of Beta Torics. The system basically uses a large glass ball that is filled with water to concentrate the sun’s energy onto a PV panel. In this way the suns energy is concentrated by up to 10,000 times. The ball can also be rotated and includes a tracking system, meaning that energy collection is maximized throughout the day. However, the design has some serious drawbacks, such as weight of the water-filled ball, which can’t really be supported by most roofs. Another drawback is the problem of producing the glass balls of sufficient quality and size.
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Build Your Own Wind Turbine

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Daniel Connell, the creator of the SolarFlower has released another very useful DIY tutorial. This one is for building a wind turbine from scratch for only about $30 in material costs. The solution he proposes is a vertical axis wind turbine based on the Lenz2 lift+drag design.
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Colorado’s First Passive House

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Brookfield Residential’s Midtown Residence Eight in Denver, is the first Colorado home to receive the Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) certification. It is also the first house made by a US production builder to receive this certification. The home was designed by KGA Studio Architects.
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Researchers Develop Semi-Transparent and Decorative Solar Cells

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A team of researchers at the University of Michigan has successfully developed a prototype of a semi-transparent photovoltaic solar cell, which they hope will make solar arrays more attractive to consumers and lead to a more widespread adoption. Existing solar panels are far from aesthetically pleasing, but this new invention could be used to cover the sides of buildings, window shades and even billboards without obscuring what lies beneath.
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A Tiny House EcoVillage for the Homeless

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The YouthBuild Program in collaboration with the Alternative Energy Program at New Market Skills Center are busy building a so called Tiny House EcoVillage, which will consist of three 70 square foot tiny mobile sleeping units, and 30 larger, permanent tiny houses. These will be placed in Quixote Village, which is part of Olympia, WA’s Camp Quixote, also known as Olympia’s Homeless Tent City.
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Solar Bridge in London Completed and Operational

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on new Blackfriars bridge

Blackfriar’s Bridge, which is the largest solar bridge in the world and part of London’s Blackfriar’s railway station, is finally finished. Work on the structure started in 2009 as part of the worldwide energy conservation efforts. The bridge crosses the river Thames and the solar panels that now cover it were installed by the firm Solarcentury.
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