Thursday, May 31, 2012

A breakthrough dye-sensitized solar cell enhances power efficiency

Solar power is known as an exemplary way to generate sustainable power. Solar researchers across the world are working tireless to boost the efficiency of solar cells of various genres. Of late, a team of researchers at the Northwestern University has advanced up with an innovative breakthrough in solar cell efficiency. The researchers have shaped up a reliable dye-sensitized solar panel that is cheaper and can ensure better power efficiency than the regular cells.

Stable dye-sensitized solar cell
The inventive solar technology is really a variant of the Grätzel cell, a kind of dye-sensitized solar cell, which makes use of semiconductor titanium oxide in place of the conventional silicon material. The outcome is that the solar cell, which is named after the Swiss chemist Michel Grätzel, delivers better power efficiency and is inexpensive, less toxic and certainly environmental in several aspects, the researchers claim.

In fact, the breakthrough the researchers have achieved is their successful attempt to solve a persisting problem with the Grätzel design. Since it makes use of an organic liquid as its electrolyte, there is a chance that it may leak in various conditions. The leaked liquid is threatening because it will corrode the entire cell. Well, it is here the Northwestern University researchers have proved their credential well.

 They developed a fresh material called the CsSnI3 that can solidify the liquid and prevent seepage under any condition.

The CsSnI3 is a very slim film compound, which merges cesium, iodine and tin. It is basically added in liquid form to dye-coat nanoparticles, but it turns to a solid mass so that there won’t be any leakage issue. Well, as per the lead researcher, Robert P.H Chang, it is the first demo of a solid-state dye-sensitized solar cell that can definitely ensure better efficiency than the current solar technologies.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Designers construct Noorderparkbar out of reclaimed wood and second hand materials

Overtreders W and Bureau SLA of The Netherlands’s capital of Amsterdam have come together to design the Noorderparkbar, a gathering space and coffee bar for residents of north Amsterdam. What sets it apart from the other hang-outs dotting the region is its eco friendly construction. Made using reclaimed wood, salvaged materials and second hand products, the bar sits on a park surrounded by nature.

bureau SLA overtreders w noorderparkbar

Funding for the project was footed by the two design firms which sourced a large percentage of the building materials from a Dutch market website. Around 100 individual traders sold their products to the duo for the construction of Noorderparkbar with the wood and shutters sourced from a bankrupted formwork plant and a temporary hospital.

There’s no word on just how much the project cost but considering most of the materials were second hand, it would be safe to assume that the two firms managed to considerably cut down costs. The materials that were purchased include 55 liters of paint, two toilets and green and white ceramic tiles.

The structure itself is interestingly built and features wooden doors and a façade that have the wooden planks placed at random angles. This gives the bar an almost urban chic touch which is heightened by the charred surface using a Japanese technique called shou sugi ban.

Inside, the ceramic tiles make their appearance on the counters upon which sit coffee-making equipment and other necessities. The white interior perfectly contrasts the charred wood surface to create a look that is stark yet welcoming and very refreshing.

The toilets, meanwhile, sport colorful green tiles on the walls and seem to have been consciously chosen to match the green surroundings. At night, the roof housing the lights shines with the beams broken up into pretty rays owing to the angled placement of the wooden planks.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Beach and Howe Tower: a structure green horizon rise Vancouver

A pretty bold architectural proposal by BIG (BJarke Ingels Group), the beach and Howe Tower will form a gateway of welcome to downtown Vancouver. The twisting Tower will rise from a base triangular at 490 feet. With 49 floors, there will be 600 residential units and 9 story podium to House various commercial activities. It will be the highest structures in the southern part and will be the tallest enshrined in Vancouver.

Beach and Tower of Howe in Vancouver / BIG
the 490 feet Beach and Howe Tower mixed-use by BIG Westbank + dialogue + cobalt + FAQ + Buro Happold + Glotman Simpson.

Creation of this structure is strategically essential for Vancouver, will be among the efforts that it is making to become a sustainable and affordable city. The typology of buildings represents the the engineering marvel of creativity through the various twists and turns it takes as it rises.

The design aims to optimize future conditions on the ground, in the air. For example, to ensure that residents are hedged against traffic, the middle of the building portion has been a setback for 30 meters from the Granville bridge. There are no balconies or Windows in this part of the tower. This also prevents that the park adjacent to the Tower of shading.

The rise of the cantilevering Tower allows the optimal rectangular surface construction and increasingly more space to live at the top. These results in a single silhouette which makes the Tower appear different from different angles. Almost resembles a flat side curtains to let people in the room to be. The terraces and roofs of overlooking a spectacular view of the Granville bridge. The exterior façade responds to various solar installations and soon the Tower will endeavour to obtain the certification LEED Gold too.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Wave Gliders successfully complete record breaking journey across Pacific

A Robot called Benjamin is one of the four wave gliders developed by Liquid Robotics, which has travelled more than 3000 nautical miles from San Francisco to Hawaii and broke the record of travelling the longest distance that any unmanned vehicle has covered so far. The wave gliders were let out into the ocean on November 17, 2011 and they have completed the first leg of their journey across the Pacific and now will be embarking on a more ambitious trip, this time covering 5,000 more nautical miles, to reach Australia and Japan. Each of these gliders has a floating buoy, tethered to an underground winged platform and it the motion of waves that paddles the buoy forward.

Robot Boats Survive Epic Voyage Across the Pacific
The gliders have a subtle design that allows a slow but steady movement, totally powered by wave motion. They use the passive power of the ocean to drift along. Besides they also have solar cells on their deck to provide to their communication equipment, including sensors and transmitters. The sensors measure oceanographic data such as the water temperature, weather conditions, water florescence, water salinity, etc.
The surface vessel of the wave glider measures 7 feet and is connected to the submerged glider, 20 feet deep in the water. The glider has wing shaped panels that tilt up when the craft is lifted by the waves, rising to make the glider mover across water. On a down wave, the wings tilt down , pulling the craft forward and it gets submerged under water, when the wave is too large, moving through it.

The wave gliders in many aspects represent a revolution in robotics that will considerably cut the cost of research and oceanic observation. As already mentioned the wave gliders will soon leave for their new destination in Australia and Japan, they will be required to collect 2.5 million data points on the physical characteristics to further the info for carrying forward research.
Via: Wired

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Small Swiss village builds the first lift powered solar ski

Only the world that is solar powered lift is a small town agri Switzerland, Teena, home. The eco friendly lift was opened last year in December after two years of great perseverance. In fact, the small village, uses renewable energy sources to meet its energy needs. With only 112 people, you will find solar panels installed on the roofs of the houses.Loaded with solar panels lift can be found in Tenna T-bar.

Swiss people builds solar chairlift costs about $ 1.5 million to build the Green effort.
There is as 80 solar panels of the chairlift, which generate enough energy to take 800 people an hour. Solar panels are positioned for maximum energy and rotate according to the direction of the Sun. It gets inclined at an angle perpendicular during storms so the snow slides out easily.

Ranging up to 1640 feet, this 450 m long ski lift has an annual capacity of 90,000 kilowatts. When the Sun is at its best, the lift generates more energy than that consumed. This excess energy is sold to the grid to meet other requirements of energy and is a source of income generation. Build green projects is not easy and this solar powered lift cost 1.5 million dollars to the Association of Tenna Skilift.

Tourism officials are quite hopeful that the chairlift will attract more tourists to Tenna. It is interesting to note that there are very few towns or cities around the world, which depends on mother nature for their daily energy requirements. Tenna is a model for all cities and people, which aims to combat the huge problem of climate change, to be greener in the near future no doubt.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

UK may soon start consuming energy generated from geothermal facilities of Iceland

When it comes to the field of renewable energies, the field suddenly doesn't stop after its use. Considering that sustainable energy is a utility of generation of the industry, their collective reach to people is an important part of the combination of all.

In this regard, the Government of the United Kingdom is about to develop a plan that aptly summarizes power generation of low emission of carbon in a location and its consumption in another location thousands of miles away. According to sources, his Minister of energy Charles Hendry is to visit Iceland to finalize an agreement covers the connection of United Kingdom with abundant geothermal energy of Iceland.

 Iceland volcanoes may be able UKIceland's volcanoes may power UKEnergy Minister is to visit Iceland in May to discuss the connection of United Kingdom to its abundant geothermal energy

Obviously, given the lack of Iceland of land border with any country in the world, the project may seem ambitious. And it is ambitious; as the effort entails the connection to be made through cables long sea floor of 1,000 to 1,500 km, known as "interconnections". They imply a massive engineering feat, these cables are estimated that about 800 tonnes of copper in each of its cross section kilometer long.

From a broader perspective, this huge network of interconnecters are not only limited to Iceland and United Kingdom. In fact, in the next decade or so, several of these cables is planned to construct the length and breadth of Europe. For example, an enterprising proposal have been Green illuminated connecting Britain with Europe to form a grid of 'super'. This project includes different systems of renewables such as wind, wave and even solar installations. In another instance, UK will benefit long-distance a 1.6GW new plant of nuclear energy that is being built in Flamanville, in France.

And finally, beyond only the credentials awareness of sustainable consumption, such proposals could help really UK long term. With dwindling oil and gas, along with the nature of high emission of coal, the sea in the North of the country stays with the option to only credible export energy from overseas.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Map of the energy in New York

Then we will analyse one of the tools that will be available to the magna metropolis of New York for the care of electric power, developed by researchers at Columbia University.

Research has led to the development of an Interactive map that allows us to view how different areas of the city are illuminated, the type of buildings is located there and as this combination affects power consumption of the city, in addition to how is used it in the area.

In the city of New York buildings make up two-thirds of the energy expenditure, which is why are planned to launch different programs concienticen on this issue, using tools like this.

The creation of this map uses three fundamental criteria for processing:

Consumption of electricity, Natural Gas and gasoline provided by the Government, from the year 2009Análisis of how these sources have been used: air conditioning, water heating, electricity, etc.Information about the buildings, lots and related taxes

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Alternative Energy Takes Too Much Money to Make?

Does alternative energy take too much money to make? It is clear that mass producing electricity from alternative sources is much more expensive than getting electricity from fossil fuels. However, do you know that it is now possible for any household to build their own homemade alternative energy system for less than $200 to power their houses?

What Are The Most Popular Forms Of Alternative Energy That You Can Use In Your Home?
Even though there are many forms of alternative energy, there are 2 forms that can be easily harnessed to power the appliances at home. These 2 forms of energy are wind and solar power.

1. Wind Power
Some people think that harnessing wind energy requires a lot of wind like in high altitudes or along coastal lines. The truth is that wind power can be harnessed even in areas with moderate amounts of wind. Wind is a very efficient source of electricity and is very clean to use as it does not produce by-products like carbon dioxide.

However, you do need to make sure that there is enough space around your house for you to build the windmills. They can also pose a threat to birds, so you must consider these drawbacks if you decide to use this method.

2. Solar Power
People living in areas with abundant sunshine will be able to harness this energy most effective. Sun energy is the most efficient source of free energy, but some people will not be able to use this method if they live in areas with little or no sunshine or in areas that rain frequently.

Thousands of people have already eliminated their own home electricity bills with a free energy system that they learned how to build with a step-by-step guide online. You can find out more about how to build this homemade power system at the website link below.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Efficient driving tips

Tips for an efficient function (source:
1. Monthly check tires are correct pressure. A less than adequate pressure can increase fuel consumption by up to 4%.

2 Check the luggage. The transport of every 100 kilos of weight spends 6% more fuel.

3. It is preferable to use long marches, respecting speed limits, and maintain the safety distance to avoid stepping, accelerations and unnecessary consumption.

4 Boot without stepping on the Accelerator.

5.-Keep, wherever possible, a uniform speed. Driving at high speeds increases fuel consumption. Car manufacturers make calculations on fuel consumption of your vehicles at 90 km/h, speed to less consumption occurs. In contrast to 120 km/h is consumed 30% more.

6.Air conditioning or window? At 25 degrees, air conditioning increases 12% fuel consumption. In town, at low speeds, open the window is more efficient than using air conditioning. On the road, on the other hand, when we drive faster, opposite.

In addition to these tips, it is important to note the specific maintenance conditions of our vehicle, for example, periodically checking the levels of oil. When we stop for more than one minute, it is also advisable to turn off the engine and start the March nothing more turn it, given that modern vehicles are designed to be more efficient when the driver starts the March swims mas start the car.

Drive gently, without abrupt changes in speed, is also of vital importance, not only for the environment, for our security. And finally why not share the car to go to work or in their spare time? It will help to reduce traffic and of course, drinking his fuel and the person with whom to share vehicle.

In short, there are many advantages of efficient driving, starting with the evident saving of fuel, so important today with the rise in fuel prices. In addition, the responsible use of the vehicle reduces pollution, both acoustic as CO2. On the other hand we increase Security in driving and cut the costs of maintenance of our car (clutch, gearbox, frenado…)

Currently these efficient driving techniques are increasingly considered to be of utmost importance and they are already being introduced in education for the driving licence, as well as expert driver training courses.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Alternative energy types-how they are used today

We walk out of the natural resources that should be kept, so that alternative energy sources are needed to deal with this crisis. More development and research is needed in this area so that we can move forward are going to look for replacements for the foreseeable future. Currently, we are dependent on foreign countries for their exports of oil for use, and we still rely on the old use of fossil fuels. We have to look beyond this and begin to use available alternative energy sources, that there are many.

The sooner we start better, so we can prevent the deterioration of the situation which, according to experts is looming over us. Once alternatives have come, we should examine how best to use them so that systems can be introduced at the earliest convenience.

Wind energy is very much a possible alternative if a lot of wind turbines now in use. It is less expensive to set and we'll continue to steadily develop them for use as energy efficiency. There are many wind farms developed with worldwide and strategically placed to prevent damage to the environment and also birds.
Most of us have heard of solar energy is another source of energy that a good workable alternative. We've all seen solar panels which are manufactured with many solar cells that use of energy from the Sun, so it can be converted into electricity for many applications such as heating water. This source is very environmentally friendly as it does not pollute the air.

An energy that most of us haven't heard is ocean energy. This is renewable energy from the sea which, according to experts to have huge benefits as a source of energy for the future. There is the potential for generating a huge amount of energy and years countries such as France, Ireland and Scotland have already used generators successfully use this source for power.

Hydroelectric energy is one of the oldest alternative energy sources. Powerful generators used water and put it into electricity. It is limited in that you can't build large dams everywhere, which is largely for irrigation and flood control were used. They also affect natural habitat although they are clean and good for the environment. There are now smaller electric generators now is set to so that they can be more localized.
Geothermal energy is a natural resource of which there are an abundance, and just below the surface of the Earth is found. We produce this kind of energy using the molten core of the Earth to heat water. The steam that is produced from the heated water is then used to run turbine engines so that it is converted into electricity. Experts say that more extensive research should be done in this area that we can learn how to tap into this geothermal energy.

We can use Ethanol instead of the use of gas to run our cars and engines. It is derived from strawberries, sugar cane, wheat, wood and wood cellulose. This kind of fuel source may not be feasible if economic according to experts, so that it may not be feasible as a source of energy.

Biodiesel energy may be another source of good energy. It is made from vegetable oils. Seeds, soybeans and other oils can potentially be used to make biodiesel, although the progress is slow as a source of energy to develop. If we are to use this on a large scale that it would not be economically feasible, although it is much more clean than diesel, such as the oil is based. It is also clean and environmentally friendly.