Every now and then, you see something just knocks your socks off. It’s either beautiful or creative or cutting-edge or all three. And that’s what happened when I read about these solar SunFlowers created by Mags Harries and Lajos Héder for Catellus Development Company in Austin, Texas. The permanent public art display was switched on in July and features 15 SunFlowers – photovoltaic solar collector panels on welded steel frames and stems.
This is a story about an interesting collaboration of five different organizations: San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc., Lundberg Design, 3Form, and Konarka. San Francisco needed to replace its existing transit locations, and the SFMTA selected Clear Channel for the contract based upon a transit shelter design by Lundberg Design. So far, the first five of roughly 1,200 new, sustainably designed transit shelters have been installed, and ~400 of the total will be powered by roof integrated photovoltaics. The shelters have wireless internet, NextMuni, and Push to Talk capabilities.
Greentech Media broke news today of a prototype rooftop solar system made for simplicity, shipability, and affordability. The system is being developed by Armageddon Energy and is aptly called a "clover." The clover includes three hexagonal solar panels, a micro-inverter, and a triangular frame. It's lightweight (check out the regular folks below doing installation work) and can generate roughly 400 watts. The company just finished early stage testing and is readying a beta program for further testing.
This is ChargePoint, an electrical plug-in station that’s powered and monitored through a smart network. It was developed by Coulomb Technologies, who recently teamed up with Carbon Day Automotive to add a new little twist. Coulomb and CDA coupled the ChargePoint with a solar photovoltaic array to create one of the nation’s first Solar Plug-in Stations. These pictures show a Solar Plug-in Station provided for the City of Chicago. You may be interested in knowing that this Solar Plug-in Station was designed by Chicago’s own Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (you know, the Eco-Bridge and Clean Technology Tower).
We've heard about ecocities in far away lands, but now there's one planned for the Unities States. Located near Fort Meyers, Florida, Babcock Ranch will be powered entirely by solar power. It's a bold and progressive plan, and if Kitson & Partners can secure all the necessary regulatory approvals, construction will begin this year. The city includes a 75-megawatt, on-site, photovoltaic facility constructed by Florida Power & Light for nearly $350 million.
Solarsmith, a green building firm out of Santa Fe, New Mexico, recently helped Betsy Armstrong and Richard Barr build an eco-friendly, traditional southwest-style home in the foothills of Santa Fe. The residence's roof is filled with solar panels, which are tied into the grid, helping to heat water for the radiant floors, exercise pool and appliances. Excess energy is fed to neighboring homes.