Water Producing Solar Panel

Zero Mass Water, an Arizona State University startup has created solar panel which produces water as well as electricity. The device is called SOURCE and it is standalone, meaning that it does not need any wiring or water input to harvest solar energy and produce drinking water at the same time. They have been running a pilot program since 2015 to test the system, which is already installed in a number of homes and communities.

One SOURCE unit measures 30 sq ft (2.8 sq m). It is capable of generating electricity via the solar photovoltaic panel, while it also has an integrated lithium-ion for storing the used electricity. The device then uses that electricity to power a cycle of condensation and evaporation, which produces 2 to 5 liters of water a day. (more…)

By |April 17th, 2017|Solar|0 Comments

Solar Powered Clothing

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Back to the Future II is one of those movies that continue to influence our imagination even though it was released way back in 1989. It foretold a bunch of advancements that we would have by the year 2015, some of which came very close to coming true, some not so much. The movie also inspired a nanotechnology scientist at the University of Central Florida’s NanoScience Technology Center, Associate Professor Jayan Thomas, to try and create solar powered textiles. And he has now succeeded, so something like self-lacing shoes as worn by Marty McFly in the movie could well be available soon.

Thomas has successfully developed solar-powered filaments, which are able to harvest energy from the sun and store it. They can also be woven into textiles to create smart textiles, which would basically be a type of wearable solar-powered batteries. These batteries could then be used to charge our gadgets, while they’d also be able to perform various other functions. (more…)

By |April 14th, 2017|Green Tech|0 Comments

Take Your Hobbit House With You

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Fans of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are going to love this tiny home. The so-called, and very aptly named, Tiny Hobbit House on Wheels is exactly that, a Hobbit-worthy abode that’s also towable. It was designed by the company Incredible Tiny Homes and looks awesome.

The Tiny Hobbit House on Wheels rests atop a 20 ft (6 m)-long trailer and boasts of a total floorspace of 160 sq ft (14.8 sq m). The exterior is clad in cedar shake siding, while entry is gained via a custom-made circular door. This is also the only opening in the whole house, since it has no windows. This was requested by the customer who commissioned it. The home also features a curved roof. (more…)

By |April 11th, 2017|Modern design|0 Comments

An Awesome Portable Pyrolytic Biomass Stove

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The so-called Enki stove was made by the Italian firm of the same name. It’s a biomass stove, which can cook anything under the sun while converting the fuel materials into biochar. It was created for camping adventures, but it would do equally well for picnics and backyard cooking.

The biomass stove comes in two versions, namely Enki Wild and Wild+. It is a so-called pyrolytic stove, since the fuel materials aren’t burned directly, but rather first converted into gas that is then burned. For this reason, it can also be called a gasifier stove, and it creates a smoke-free flame. It’s also designed to be fed small biomass scraps such as twigs and bark. Furthermore, the waste material it produces can also be successfully used for carbon sequestration and building healthy soil. It is not, however, meant to be an indoor, daily-use stove alternative. However, for barbecues, camping trips and picnics, it’s an excellent choice, and much better than charcoal or gas fed cookers. (more…)

By |April 10th, 2017|Green Tech|0 Comments

Barn-Inspired Tiny Home

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Say what you will, but tiny houses are fun! And the Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses firm makes some of the most unique ones in the world. They completed this barn-like tiny home for a client who recently retired and wanted a cozy, functional and affordable home. It’s called the Bitterroot Valley tiny house and was built using recycled and reclaimed materials. It’s also equipped with several sustainable features and technologies, and can function completely off-the-grid.

This tiny home was named after the unique barns found in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. It was built out of SIPs and rests atop a 20 ft (6 m)-long trailer, so it can be hauled around. The home was clad using leftover materials from the firm’s other projects, such as rough-cut lap cedar, rusty reclaimed corrugated metal, and cedar shakes. (more…)

By |March 31st, 2017|Green Building|1 Comment

Simple and Modern Refugee Housing

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Germany, among other EU countries, is currently facing the problem of quickly finding adequate housing for refugees and asylum seekers that it has let across its borders. The modular houses, designed for this purpose by Architect and builder Werner Sobek, are a great example of the fact that refugee housing can be modern, affordable and comfortable. The units are called Aktivhaus, and a whole development of them has recently been completed in Winnenden, which is a town about 20 kilometers northeast of Stuttgart. It can accommodate 200 asylum seekers and functions just like real homes. (more…)

By |March 23rd, 2017|Prefab|0 Comments