We’re starting to see a number of interesting products in the building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) area of solar innovation. A company out of Grass Valley, California – Sun Energy Engineering Co. – has developed a low-profile solar shingle, or Sun Energy Shingle, to be used instead of roofing shingles or over existing shingles. It’s available in custom colors, too, depending on what kind of look you’re trying to get on the rooftop.
According to a recent press release, a sustainable energy company called Beautiful Earth Group just unveiled this containerized electric vehicle (EV) charging station in Red Hook, Brooklyn. With a soaring array of photovoltaic panels, the BMW Mini E pictured runs exclusively on fresh, green power generated by the off-grid, modular station. You’ll note that the station just so happens to be built with recycled shipping containers, too.
The new congress center for the 4th World Solar Cities Conference, which takes place in September 2010, is now complete. Located in Dezhou of the Shandong Province, the 75,000 square meter (807,293 square feet) center includes exhibition centers, scientific research facilities, meeting and training facilities, and a hotel. It'll be a showcase of solar design, solar desalination, and, of course, about 50,000 square-feet of solar panels on the exterior.
Kids with special illnesses, disabilities, and other challenges received a new toy this summer at Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge, Georgia. Designed by Amy Leathers, senior associate at Lord, Aeck & Sargent, the treehouse serves as a play area and educational space for learning about nature and sustainability. It's wheelchair accessible and outfitted with a number of environmentally-sensitive features.
We've seen building integrated solar by separate companies for use with both asphalt shingles and standing seam roofing. Now SRS Energy and US Tile are preparing to unveil a new Solé Power Tile at Greenbuild. The barrel-style technology was designed for a clay tile curved roofing system. Using thin film solar, the Solé Power Tile integrates seamlessly with blue glaze or earthen tone tiles. SRS Energy and US Tile will launch the system first on the West Coast and roll it out nationally through 2010.
P4P Energy, LLC — short for Power for the Planet — recently completed the installation of its first, cable-suspended free span solar system in the parking lot of the headquarters building for REM Eyewear in Sun Valley, California. Designed and patented by P4P Energy and TenSol Power, the array spans 107 feet on low-cost cables and provides shade for cars parked below. It's expected to generate roughly 40,877 kWh of electricity per year.