Start-up Pythagoras Solar has designed a window that doubles as a solar panel and layer of insulation.
The company on Tuesday detailed its photovoltaic glass unit, a replacement for the glass structures used on the facades or roofs of commercial buildings. Pythagoras Solar's first product, due in the third quarter this year, will be a skylight but the company also plans to make curtain walls for new buildings.
Typical commercial insulated glass units have two panes of glass, placed about one inch apart and held in a metal frame, which are coated with a film to block out heat … Read more
Archeologists and NASA scientists have "unearthed" a complete ancient Mayan city that employed a system of green urban architecture, the group announced Tuesday.
"The NASA technology aboard the Cessna saw beyond the rain forest and detected thousands of new structures, 11 new causeways, tens of thousands of agricultural terraces and many hidden caves--results beyond anyone's imagination," the group said in a statement.
The project was led by a husband and wife archaeological team from the University of Central Florida who have been in Belize manually excavating the ancient Mayan city of Caracol out from under … Read more
Royal Philips Electronics unveiled on Wednesday an LED bulb that will be mass-produced as a replacement for the common 60-watt light bulb.
The 12-watt Endura LED, which is the fruition of the LED prototype bulb the Dutch electronics giant unveiled in 2009, looks very similar to its historic predecessor in size and shape. But the bulb cuts energy use by 80 percent and lasts 25 times longer than the common 60-watt incandescent bulb, according to Philips.
The LED bulb will last 25,000 hours compared with the 1,000 hours that consumers normally get out of the average 60-watt incandescent … Read more
Because of their energy-frugal characteristics, LEDs (light-emitting diodes) have always had the potential to save commercial properties a significant amount of money on their electricity bills. However, the initial expense of the lighting systems have made LEDs cost-prohibitive in many situations. Not so anymore, according to Pike Research.
Office buildings are still in the Stone Age when it comes to efficiency, according to an IBM survey of U.S. office workers released Thursday.
Only about one-third of the people surveyed from 16 U.S. cities said their office building is "environmentally friendly" and conserves energy by automatically adjusting lights and temperature. About 65 percent of survey respondents favor redesigning their workspace to be more environmentally responsible.
Time is also being wasted in these office buildings, with one-quarter of almost 6,500 respondents saying that elevators are poorly coordinated. IBM estimates the cumulative time the U.S. … Read more
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--Chinese battery manufacturer BYD, which is readying a line of all-electric vehicles, plans to introduce a home energy suite that includes solar panels and batteries.
BYD, which gained prominence in the U.S. when Warren Buffet invested in the company, plans to start testing its all-electric e6 sedan in the U.S. later this year, said Michael Austin, vice president of BYD America.
High-volume auto battery manufacturing helps the company's entry into home energy products by bringing costs down, he said here on Monday at the Lux Executive Summit during a panel on energy storage. BYD plans to supply solar panels, battery packs, car charging pedestals, efficient LED lighting, and inverters to manage energy flow within a home, Austin said.
"The vehicle market is driving scale for the energy market and we're already well below $500 per kilowatt-hour (for batteries)," he said. BYD electric cars will have a range of about 250 miles, he added.
So far, many of these property assessed clean energy financing (PACE) programs have run out of money, but Austin said BYD expects it can work when backed by commercial banks. The company plans to introduce its home energy line in China this year, he added.
The 15-year-old company started out making batteries and other components for consumer electronics, such as cell phones. Now, as many companies push into electric vehicles, BYD advertises battery prices significantly lower than other companies, which it expects will drive adoption of all-electric cars. … Read more
Recurve, which provides home energy-efficiency services, has been leading the double life as a software company.
The San-Francisco-based company on Monday announced Recurve Software, an application aimed at home energy-efficiency contractors. The first module of a planned suite, the program lets professionals generate a home-efficiency report with recommendations and a proposal for work, such as air sealing and insulation.
Recurve hopes the hosted application will automate some of the tasks for home performance contractors, many of which can be small shops, said Adam Winter, the senior vice president of building science. The application runs on tablet PCs, which can run … Read more
Thyagaraj Stadium in New Delhi has installed a megawatt's worth of solar panels on its roof, Suniva announced Thursday.
Suniva, which was chosen as the supplier for the solar roof, is an Atlanta-based solar-cell and module manufacturer. Suniva secured $50 million to build a commercial production facility in Atlanta in February 2008. The company licensed technology invented at Georgia Tech: extremely thin high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells that are less than 100 microns thick and claim 20 percent efficiency. Those cells, however, are not yet ready for market. Suniva's 200-micron thin (+/- 20) ArtiSun solar cells were used … Read more
If you're looking for a weight loss boot camp, the Tent City Jail in Phoenix may be your solution. Controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who dubs himself "America's toughest sheriff," is providing the inmates there with a new amenity: cable television. But to watch their favorite shows, they're going to have to pedal.
Arpaio installed an energy-generating stationary bike (PDF) attached to a TV when he found that 50 percent of the inmates were overweight, many morbidly so. As long as an inmate is pedaling, the bike will produce 12 volts of energy--just enough to power a 19-inch tube TV. But if an inmate stops pedaling at a moderate speed, the TV shuts off.
Because inmates can't be forced to exercise, access to cable TV could provide incentive for them to do so. Female prisoners will test the program first, because they were more receptive to it, Arpaio says.
This isn't Arpaio's first attempt to trim inmates' waistlines. Some years back, he cut inmates' food intake from 3,000 calories to 2,500 calories. "You're too fat," CNN reported Arpaio as saying to the inmates. "I'm taking away your food because I'm trying to help you. I'm on a diet myself. You eat too much fat."
"America's toughest sheriff" hasn't always had an easy time implementing his standards, which have included assembling a female chain gang and making inmates pay $10 every time they need to see a nurse. Human-rights groups consider Tent City jail to be among the harshest in the nation, according to CNN, and numerous civil-rights lawsuits have been filed against the sheriff.
The program that Arpaio is calling "Pedal Vision" might be received with less criticism, though. Watching TV while serving time is a privilege, not a right, so inmates are choosing to take advantage of it. But what if every prisoner pedaled to produce energy? … Read more