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Innovative Ways of Using Solar Panels

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Photo: Mineirão stadium in Belo Horizonte

The photovoltaic technology is frequently used to obtain energy these days. Since it was discovered in the 19th century that it is possible to get energy from sunlight, the ways of harnessing solar energy went through many different stages. The first prototype of solar cells was, for example, used to provide the satellite Vanguard I with energy in 1958 and the technology has been used in this area ever since.
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Solar Powered Tiny Travelling Home

Dog trainer Julie Olson found herself in need of a mobile home, so she decided to build a tiny house on wheels. Olson has no architecture training herself, so she made the plans that detailed everything that she wanted her home to have, and sent them to Jason Dietz of Molecule Tiny Homes. It took him about two months to build Olson a home that was in keeping with her specifications. These included 2 loft areas, one of which was to be used as a bedroom, and the other for storage. Olson also wanted a fold out porch, storage stairs, a bathroom and a closet.
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Small House That is Huge on Sustainability

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One of the winners of this year’s American Institute of Architecture’s Small Project Practitioners Knowledge Community 8th annual Small Project Awards is Small House in an Olive Grove designed by Cooper Joseph Studio. The home is located in the Dry Creek Valley near Sonoma, California and functions almost completely off-the-grid.
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Solar Roadways Could Become the New Smart Grid

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Two years after being proposed US electrical engineer, Scott Brusaw’s system of solar powered roads is in the second prototype stage, which could lead to wide spread use. Scott’s idea is to cover highways and other roadways with photo-voltaic panels that would collect energy and feed it into a decentralized power grid. If successful, these panels could generate enough energy to power the entire country. Scott is currently raising funds via an IndieGoGo campaign to begin production.
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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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A New Type of Washing Machine Cuts Water Use by 70%

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One of the biggest drains on freshwater resources is the household washing machine. As reported by the EPA, a washing machine uses about 41 gallons of water per load on average, while a typical US family uses the washing machine once per day. The UK-based company Xeros has come up with a washing technology that uses 70% less water per washing cycle. This technology also uses a special “bead cleaning” method that is environmentally friendly and apparently cleans dirty clothes even better than regular soap.
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