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Australia: This house in the desert keeps itself cool and generates its own power GizMag.com

Australia: This house in the desert keeps itself cool and generates its own power GizMag.com | environment | Scoop.it

A house built in the demanding environment of Alice Springs, Australia, has been honored by the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA). Dunn and Hillam's Desert House was designed to withstand the extreme desert conditions while remaining energy efficient. The AIA cited the project's "genuine sensibility to environmental management in this specific climate."

 

Dunn and Hillam was asked by its clients to design a house that would allow them to make the most of living in Alice Springs, taking into account its climate and spectacular scenery. The clients requested that the house engage with the surrounding landscape, that it provide multiple places to be use depending on the time of day and weather, and that it minimize energy usage.

 

In tackling the brief, Dunn and Hillam said it took an approach of "hardcore pragmatism and innovation, respect for the landscape and context and a belief in doing things better for the future." The house is cut into the rock and uses the thermal mass of the rock to regulate its internal temperature.

 

Click headline to read more and view pix gallery--


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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RichSheraton's curator insight, July 12, 2014 3:49 AM

I would seriously love to build a totally self-sufficient house using solar, wind and whatever else.

 

But of course it won't be anywhere near Alice Springs. The Aussie desert is too harsh for a wuss like me ~lol

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Technology is allowing us to watch the world's forest disappear in real time, and hopefully halt it

Technology is allowing us to watch the world's forest disappear in real time, and hopefully halt it | environment | Scoop.it
New mapping technology is helping activists and companies pinpoint exactly where tropical deforestation is happening, down to the individual tree. It's a potentially powerful new tool for identifying who's responsible for illegal cutting and getting companies to clean up their supply chains.
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Future iPhone Model May Have Solar Panel Built Right Into The Display | Redmond Pie

Future iPhone Model May Have Solar Panel Built Right Into The Display | Redmond Pie | environment | Scoop.it
Solar power is one of those things that was once supposed to provide a fix for all of our power-based problems. Even though some companies are using solar energy to at least part fuel their datacenters, it has still not quite lived up to its billing. Solar energy has even been talked of as a way of powering our personal gadgets, too, but so far nothing has really come to fruition. Sure, calculators and keyboards exist that run on power generated from the sun, but that's a far cry from keeping a power hungry iPhone juiced all day long.

Via Sass Peress
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Sass Peress's curator insight, May 24, 2014 12:09 PM

When my team developed the iSun solar charger for phones back in 2001, this is precisely where we hoped things would go. So exciting to see Apple leading in this field...

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Los Angeles Gets Its First Urban Fruit Trail

Los Angeles Gets Its First Urban Fruit Trail | environment | Scoop.it
On May 18, Los Angeles took its first step toward having an Urban Fruit Trail. The Fallen Fruit team of Austin Young and David Burns joined forces with Heart of LA (HOLA) for the first installment of an art project that is meant to transform the neighborhoods surrounding downtown Los Angeles into more walkable, edible communities.
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Wind-Powered Car Travels 3,000 Miles Across Australia for $15 Worth of Electricity

Wind-Powered Car Travels 3,000 Miles Across Australia for $15 Worth of Electricity | environment | Scoop.it
A lightweight car traveled 3,000 miles across Australia using a portable wind turbine and $15 worth of electricity.
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Scientists Finally Create Bird-Friendly Glass!

Scientists Finally Create Bird-Friendly Glass! | environment | Scoop.it
Scientists have finally created glass panels whose vertical stripes prevent birds from flying into it.
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Conservation Success for Disco Cactus and Many Other Threatened Species - National Geographic

Conservation Success for Disco Cactus and Many Other Threatened Species - National Geographic | environment | Scoop.it
National Geographic
Conservation Success for Disco Cactus and Many Other Threatened Species
National Geographic
With all the news of threats to biodiversity and species out there, sometimes it's tough to remember that conservation succeeds.

Via Maria Nunzia @Varvera
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ELF turning heads: County purchases electric-powered, eco-friendly tricycle

ELF turning heads: County purchases electric-powered, eco-friendly tricycle | environment | Scoop.it
Laura Brusky rolled into a parking lot on 10th Avenue South riding in an enclosed tricycle that looks something like a big white egg, but she was there to work, not eat.
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Green Roofed Farming Kindergarten Teaches 500 Vietnamese Children How to Grow Their Own Food

Green Roofed Farming Kindergarten Teaches 500 Vietnamese Children How to Grow Their Own Food | environment | Scoop.it
Vo Trong Nghia Architects designed Farming Kindergarten, a knot-shaped education building that teaches preschoolers how to grow their own food.
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Navy researchers demonstrate flight powered by fuel created from seawater | KurzweilAI

Navy researchers demonstrate flight powered by fuel created from seawater | KurzweilAI | environment | Scoop.it
Flying a radio-controlled replica of the historic WWII P-51 Mustang red-tail aircraft, NRL researchers (l to r) Jeffrey Baldwin, Dennis Hardy, Heather

Via Paul Epping
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5 Ways to Make the Most Out of Garden for Wildlife Month

5 Ways to Make the Most Out of Garden for Wildlife Month | environment | Scoop.it
Every May we celebrate Garden for Wildlife Month as a way to remind us to prepare our gardens for wildlife, highlight amazing stories, and share tips with one another. Since the birth of NWF's Certified Wildlife Habitat program back in 1973, people have embraced gardening for wildlife by how they...

Via Danielle Brigida
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New water-based organic battery is cheap, rechargeable and eco-friendly | GizMag.com

New water-based organic battery is cheap, rechargeable and eco-friendly | GizMag.com | environment | Scoop.it

Lithium-ion batteries have made portable, rechargeable electronics commonplace. Unfortunately, they do have some glaring drawbacks, including heat issues, being made with rare, toxic elements, and the fact the technology doesn't scale up very well, which limits applications. A team of scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) is working on an alternative in the form of a water-based organic battery that is not only cheaper and more environmentally friendly, but also holds the potential for scaling up for use in wind and solar power plants as a means to store large amounts of energy.

 

The technology developed by the USC team is what’s called an organic redux flow battery. It’s a bit like a fuel cell, and a similar one was developed for NASA’s Helios electric-powered drones. It consists of two tanks containing solutions of electroactive chemicals. These are pumped into a cell, which is divided by a membrane. The solutions interact through the membrane and electricity is produced.

 

According to the team, the tanks can be of any size in comparison to the cells, so the total amount of energy that the system can store depends on how large the tanks are, which is one up on conventional batteries. The flow battery also has a better life span than lithium-ion batteries and its variants.

 

"The batteries last for about 5,000 recharge cycles, giving them an estimated 15-year lifespan," says Sri Narayan, professor of chemistry at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. “Lithium ion batteries degrade after around 1,000 cycles, and cost 10 times more to manufacture.”

 

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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He Gave Up His Day Job to Save Wildlife

He Gave Up His Day Job to Save Wildlife | environment | Scoop.it
Michael Scott left his career as a sales executive to become a deputy wildlife conservation officer. Now he travels the woods of Pennsylvania helping animals and catching poachers.

Via Wildlife Margrit
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Wildlife Margrit's curator insight, June 23, 2014 6:37 PM

Love stories like this... way to go Michael.

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Solar Wind Energy's Downdraft Tower generates its own wind all year round | GizMag.com

Solar Wind Energy's Downdraft Tower generates its own wind all year round | GizMag.com | environment | Scoop.it

When we think of wind power, we generally think of huge wind turbines sitting high atop towers where they can take advantage of the higher wind speeds. But Maryland-based Solar Wind Energy, Inc. is looking to turn wind power on its head with the Solar Wind Downdraft Tower, which places turbines at the base of a tower and generates its own wind to turn them.

 

Described by the company as the first hybrid solar-wind renewable energy technology in the renewable energy market, the tower at the center of the system generates a downdraft that drives the wind turbines positioned around its base. This is done by using a series of pumps to carry water to the top of a tower standing up to 2,250 ft (685 m) tall, where it is cast across the opening as a fine mist. The mist then evaporates and is absorbed by hot, dry air, thereby cooling the air and making it denser and heavier than the warmer air outside the tower.

 

This water-cooled air then falls through the hollow tower at speeds up to and in excess of 50 mph (80 km/h). When it reaches the bottom of the tower, the air is directed into wind tunnels that surround the base, turning wind turbines that are contained within the tunnels. Although the system requires large amounts of water, the bulk of the water emitted at the top of the tower is captured at the bottom and recirculated through the system, being pumped back up to the top with some of the power generated by the wind turbines.

 

In this way, the company claims the system can generate electricity 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, when located in a hot, dry area – although electricity generation would be reduced in winter. Depending on the tower's geographical location, electricity generation could also be supplemented through the use of vertical "wind vanes" that would capture the prevailing wind and channel it into the tower.

 

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Uniting My Voice with Millions to Educate People on Climate Change

Uniting My Voice with Millions to Educate People on Climate Change | environment | Scoop.it

We’ve started small, but we will expand, and though I am only one, my voice will be united with


Via EcoWatch
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Five Ways To Get Involved in Science Without Going Back to School

Five Ways To Get Involved in Science Without Going Back to School | environment | Scoop.it
Amateur naturalists have played a significant role in environmental research for over a century. The internet makes it possible to organize on a whole new
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Nigerian Student Converts a VW Beetle into a $6,000 Wind- and Solar-Powered Car

Nigerian Student Converts a VW Beetle into a $6,000 Wind- and Solar-Powered Car | environment | Scoop.it
Segun Oyeyiola is a student at Nigeria's Obagemi Awolowo University who converted a Volkswagen Beetle into a wind- and solar-powered car perfect for the country's extreme weather. The project was completed for a grand total of $6,000...
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2014 Growing Green Awards Honor Innovators in Sustainable Food and Farming

2014 Growing Green Awards Honor Innovators in Sustainable Food and Farming | environment | Scoop.it
“These award winners are living proof that there’s a better way
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End fossil fuel burning, save $71 trillion -- and preserve civilization as we know it

End fossil fuel burning, save $71 trillion -- and preserve civilization as we know it | environment | Scoop.it

Two new reports outline the economic boons that would follow if we would just dump our climate-wrecking dirty-energy addiction.

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Bacteria Soon to Grow Photovoltaic Cells?

Bacteria Soon to Grow Photovoltaic Cells? | environment | Scoop.it
A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, taking their cue from nature, have released a new study that shows that organic materials can be used to conduct electricity and emit different colors of light....
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Round-the-Clock Solar Power Is Here

Round-the-Clock Solar Power Is Here | environment | Scoop.it

Solar power’s greatest drawback has always been that it is intermittent and, even in the sunniest climes, peak electricity demand is frequently in the evening when the Sun is going down.

The engineering challenge has been to design a system in which enough of the Sun’s heat can be stored to produce full power continuously even on cloudy days – and better still, all night.

Many different designs have been tried, but finally a commercial plant in Spain seems to have cracked the problem, and as a result has won an award from a panel of independent judges.


Via Pol Bacquet
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Eli Levine's curator insight, May 2, 2014 10:50 AM

What if this were to become apart of home electrical, heating and cooling systems?

 

If only things weren't being done to make things so artificially comfortable for the sake of our fossil fuel and utility companies, we may already be able to undo some of the worst damage that's been done to our planet in the name of financial "profit."

 

What good is financial profit if it means that you, your children, your society and your species is wiped out?

 

Think about it.

Green technology's curator insight, May 6, 2014 10:38 AM

Round-the-Clock Solar Power Is Here #solarpower

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Build this open source DIY wind turbine for $30

Build this open source DIY wind turbine for $30 | environment | Scoop.it
If you're interested in learning how to build your own renewable energy devices, this DIY vertical axis wind turbine is a great place to start.
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Why Has Wave Power Remained Decades Behind Other Renewables?

Why Has Wave Power Remained Decades Behind Other Renewables? | environment | Scoop.it

Numerous studies have concluded that wave power could contribute massive amounts to the overall energy, but experts agree that it remains decades behind other forms of renewables, with large amounts of money and research required for it to even begin to catch up ...


Via EcoWatch
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