Articles Posted in the Renewable energy category

Spectacular solar building

January 15, 2008
Posted in Renewable energy

Sanyo’s solar arkThis stunning piece of architecture is Sanyo’s Solar Ark, one of the world’s biggest solar energy generation systems.

Designed with a vision of “an ark embarking onto a journey towards the 21st century” in mind, it’s 315 metres long, 37 metres high and covered with 5,046 solar battery panels, which produce an annual electrical output of 53,000kWh.

At the building’s centre is a state-of-the-art science museum, which opened to visitors in April 2002, that aims to create interest in environmental issues and photovoltaic science.

The Ark is fitted with more than 77,000 red, green and blue LEDs that turn it into a huge illuminated presentation panel on which a variety of visual images can be created. This must be quite a spectacle for people travelling on the JR Tokaido bullet train in Gifu, Japan, as the railway line passes close to the Solar Ark.

Via: Inhabitat

World’s greenest building

December 27, 2007
Posted in Lifestyle

Aldo Leopold centreThe Aldo Leopold Legacy Centre in Wisconsin is the world’s first carbon neutral building. It was certified by the US Green Building Council this year.

The centre produces more energy than it consumes. About half the 12,000-square-foot building’s energy saving comes from low-tech solutions such as using natural light, insulating the walls and ceilings and allowing air to flow freely.

The centre generates its own electricity with a photovoltaic system on its roof. The 198 panels and can generate 60,000 – 70,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year. The system is connected to the power grid so extra electricity produced in summer can be credited towards any electricity the building may need to buy during the winter.

The building also uses geothermal energy and a system of earth tubes are used ventilation.

Visit the Aldo Leopold Legacy Centre website for a virtual tour.

Plan to export African solar power to Europe

December 26, 2007
Posted in Renewable energy

Renewable energy sites in North AfricaThe European Union is considering spending £5-billion (R70-billion) on a solar power scheme that could provide up to a sixth of Europe’s electricity needs.

The electricity would be generated by hundreds of concentrating solar power (CSP) plants situated in desert regions of North Africa and the Middle East and then transmitted by undersea cable to Europe, The Observer reports.

The project envisages that up to 100-billion watts could be generated by the desert stations. Two-thirds would be kept for local needs and the rest exported to Europe. The CSP plants will also act as desalination plants to provide fresh water for the host countries.

CSP technology is being assessed by Eskom for a large-scale, grid-connected solar project in South Africa.
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