Posts Tagged solar power

Y House

Another great solar decathlon house, this time from the China team.  This house comes in at $248,000 for the whole house, including the solar panels etc.


Solar Decathlon 2

Continuing in our series, we have two new videos of houses from the solar decathlon.  The first is from Indiana which is a great example of how a very traditional looking home can utilize these approaches. Next up is a house that severs as a contrast to the first, this is a very modern looking home that will be sure to stand out.

Solar Decathlon

Every 2 years there is an event in Washington DC called the solar decathlon.  This is a competition of 92 universities that come together and create 92 different off the grid houses.  I have been wanting to go for a long time, but this year isn’t my year.  However, they make some really awesome videos for it, so this week I am going to highlight many of them.

Silo House

This is a pretty big house for this blog, it is a whooping 500 square feet, but the design and its focus on solar are amazing!  The house uses very practical materials for the external cladding.

here is an excerpt from the description

The cylinders’ design was inspired by industrial agricultural materials. The structure was made by CorTen corrugated steel as the cladding and exposed steel beams on the interior. The house takes advantage of solar gain from the steel envelope through an innovative skin-integrated solar thermal system that pre-heats hot water. Each cylinder has two operable Velux® skylights to maximize the natural lighting.

The interior was designed by combining the agricultural and industrial aesthetic through a contemporary lens. The materials chosen were considered to be eco-friendly. The primary material pallete is made from forested black locust, ash and beech hardwoods from local area. They are complemented by the use of zero off-gassing finishes throughout the entirety of the house interior. Nanawallâ„¢ systems are used as the boundary between the courtyard, bedroom, and living room, blur the distinction between interior and exterior space. The kitchen was designed to provide energy efficient cooking activities, also to combine between cooking and entertaining activities. In the bedroom, the bed is raised into a a concealed ceiling box to create an open and usable space in its footprint.


It Came From Outer Space!

Earlier this year California’s biggest energy utility PG&E announced that they would purchase 200 megawatts of solar power beamed down from outer space starting in 2016. As out of this world the proposal may have seemed, it has recently found solid Earthly ground as the state’s legislators have officially given this space venture the solar powered green light.

1Through its power purchase agreement with Solaren Corporation, PG&E will be entitled to power generated from a first-of-its kind space-based solar project. The experimental technology will employ orbiting satellites equipped with solar cells ready to transform the sun’s energy into electricity. The electricity that is produced by these cells will then be converted into radio frequency transmittable energy, collected at a receiving station in Freso, California, and finally be transferred to PG&E’s power grid.

Solaren anticipates that their panels will generate 1,700 gigawatt-hours of energy per year (roughly equal to the annual consumption of 250,000 average homes) throughout the 15-year contract term made with PG&E. While an experimental project such as this seems far flung for California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard program, the agreement was approved because it remains consistent with the state’s objective of increasing its reliance on a diverse supply of renewable energy resources and of supporting renewable technologies. It should be noted that there will be no risk to PG&E, and in turn California customers, as the company is simply agreeing to purchase the power at a certain rate, if and when the project is ever up and running.


Reprinted: Inhabitat Dian Pham