While living in solar powered homes is very sustainable and environmentally friendly, the materials from which most solar PV arrays are constructed are not. Since they are often made from rare natural materials or plastics, researchers are constantly looking for way to improve this flaw and make the whole package more eco-friendly. A team of scientists from the University of Maryland, the South China University of Technology, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have recently developed a type of paper, which is made from wood fibers. This paper is 96 percent transparent and could conceivably one day be used instead of the plastic materials used to construct the solar cells of today. This would make solar cells more eco-friendly as well as much cheaper.
The firm ISI Technology of South Carolina will soon begin producing a smart water heater, which is designed to cut energy use by 40% over conventional water heaters. They have recently successfully met their funding goal of $125,000 through Kickstarter to begin the production. The Heatworks MODEL 1 compact water heater will measure 12.5 inches by 6.5 inches, meaning that it will fit in most spaces. The water heater will also have Wi-Fi connectivity, so that temperature, power levels and duration can all be monitored and controlled remotely.
Frederick Corson’s 5000 square foot home in Northern California is one of the largest in the area, yet its cooling and heating costs are very low. Instead of using traditional sources of heating and cooling, Carson fitted the house with a ground-source heat pump known as a geothermal heat pump. Such a heat source is environmentally friendly and sustainable, while it also keeps the costs of heating and cooling the house minimal.
Whether you live and work in a large space or tiny home, green garden interior design serves form and function, not to mention brightening a space to improve livability and productivity. Industrial designer, Marko Vučković, loves to bring a unique approach to create elegant and comfortable environments, and his brainchild, the Grass Lamp is a beautiful example of his inspirational solutions. Read more »
The Green Button Initiative is gaining traction with the launch of Green Button Connect, a web portal launched by energy-focused software developer, Tendril. One side of the site serves consumers who can upload their green button data and try out different applications to make sense of it. The other side of the site serves developers who want to develop applications for these consumers to use.
Whether you’re looking to replace a drafty fireplace or utilize zone heating during the cold winter, perhaps an energy-efficient stove from Morsø should be considered and researched for your application. The company offers several models — small, large, traditional, or contemporary — that are built in a low-impact manner with recycled materials.