SunPower Readies 24%-Efficient Solar Cell

San Jose-based SunPower Corp. has a great thing going on right now.  They’re constantly pushing the standard and recently announced the commercial production of the company’s third-generation Maxeon solar cell that delivers a sunlight to electricity conversion efficiency of up to 24%.

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50/10 Houses Aim for a Green Sweet Spot

When a large or expensive home is presented on this site, it’s common to get an adverse response from readers requesting that we feature smaller and more affordable homes.  Today, I’m going to take that opportunity to share something called the 50/10 House developed by Cellar Ridge Custom Homes and m.o.daby design in Oregon.

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SmartDeco is Simple, Affordable, and Green

Here’s an interesting product that got its start with a successful funding from Kickstarter.  SmartDeco is affordable, engineered, blank furniture made with 100% recyclable Enviroboard — a light-weight corrugated fiberboard, like cardboard, but with a middle layer of oscillating arcs for strength.  The flat-pack furniture is made in California and folds in places without the need of tools.  Available pieces include a stand, dresser, and desk, and all of these items are available for about $65 or less each (white costs a little more).

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Passivhaus Plague, Backyard Builds, Factory-Built Homes, + the Recycled House

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Active House Migrates to the United States

It’s time to welcome a new green building protocol with the arrival of the Active House specification in the United States.  The specification gets a big test with this home, called Active House USA, which will be the first Active House in the country when finished.  It’s designed by Jeff Day & Associates and will be built by Hibbs Homes and Verdatek Solutions in St. Louis to test the new specification in a mixed climate.  Here’s a little more about Active House and this 2,500 square foot home.

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Hybrid Solar Tube Panels by Naked Energy

A company called Solyndra pioneered the solar tube but this new invention by UK-based Naked Energy may just take cylindrical solar to a whole new level.  Called Virtu, the product includes an integrated photovoltaic cell in a vacuum tube to generate both electricity and warm water at the same time.  The setup keeps the PV cool to optimize energy production and maximizes space with a combined PVT solution.

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