Articles With "energy efficiency" Tag

Stacking Solar Cells Could Vastly Improve Their Efficiency

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Harvesting solar energy is a great way to generate sustainable power, but unfortunately solar cells are far from being as efficient as they might be. Currently, commercially available solar cells can convert about 25 percent of sunlight into electricity, and scientists have been trying to create better solar cells for years. One milestone they have been unsuccessfully trying to reach is 50 percent conversion efficiency of solar cells. However, the start-up company Semprius might be on the right track with the stacking technique of solar cells they recently developed.
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A Prefab Tiny House Retreat

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Vivood, a Spanish architecture group, designed a tiny prefabricated house of the same name, which can be assembled in only about nine hours. Once assembled, it can be used as a guesthouse, retreat, or even a tiny home. When ordered, the prefabricated Vivood comes in easy to assemble modular parts, which already have all the necessary plumbing and electrics installed.
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Shipping Container Inspired Disaster Relief Housing

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The firm Garrison Architects in collaboration with New York City recently unveiled the prototype of a modular prefabricated housing system. The structures were developed for quick deployment in the event of another hurricane like Sandy, or other natural disaster. By the looks of it, the houses were also very much inspired by shipping container architecture.
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Skyscraper Made of Waste

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The French design firm Chartier-Corbasson has come up with an innovative skyscraper, which would be built using the recycled waste of its occupants. The so-called Organic London Skyscraper would be constructed from panels that are made from recycled plastic (e.g. plastic bottles, …), which would all be sorted and refabricated on site. The skyscraper is called organic, because floors would be added on according to demand for new housing units.
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Reciprocity House is Worth Watching

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Maison Reciprocity, or Reciprocity House, is one of the entrants in this year’s Solar Decathlon Europe competition. In a nutshell, it is an energy-efficient, highly sustainable modular home, which aims to set the standard of low cost, and low impact building in the future. It is a joint effort between Appalachian State University and the French Université d’Angers, and one of only two entries into the competition by US teams this year.
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Fuel Cells to Heat and Power Homes

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When looking into off-the-grid heating and power sources for the home, those interested might soon be getting a new option. The Dresden, Germany-based Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS) has joined forces with the heater manufacturer Vaillant and together they have come up with a domestic fuel cell system, which uses natural gas to produce both heat and electricity.
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