with alternative energy
Chicago-based photographer Reuben Wu (previously here and here) recently photographed the Nevada SolarReserve, a grouping over 10,000 mirrors which power nearly 75,000 homes both day and night during its peak season. Wu photographed the mass of reflective panels during nightfall, allowing the brilliant colors of the sunset to be doubled into the shining surfaces below. Wu likens the energy facility to a topographic ocean, considering it one of the greatest land art installations ever built.
One of Wu’s previous series “Lux Noctis” recently won a grand prize in Photo District News’ The Great Outdoors Photo Contest. You can see more of Wu’s natural and manmade landscapes on his Instagram and Facebook.
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First the sea gave birth to life. Now, thanks to a trio of Philippine-based inventors, it is giving birth to light as well. Led by engineer Lipa Aisa Mijena, the team has developed a lamp that’s capable emitting light for 8 hours on just 1 cup of saltwater. Not only are the Philippines prone to natural disasters like typhoons and earthquakes but the country is made up of over 7,000 islands, most of which do not have access to electricity, says the team. But one thing they do have is the sea, an abundant source of saltwater that can now be used to light homes and, in emergencies, power cell phones.
The saltwater-powered lamp uses the same science that forms the basis of battery-making. Where they differ from batteries is that the entire reaction is safe and harmless. Moreover, there are no flammable materials or components that go into lamp. Used 8 hours a day, every day, the team says the lamp can provide light for 6 months (or even over a year if used more efficiently) without having to replace any parts.
Over the past year or so SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting) has won 7 different sustainability and entrepreneurial awards. If interested, you can enter your name and email on their website to receive product updates but right now the team is focusing on building lamps for their target communities. (via Web Urbanist)
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LUMENHAUS is a solar-powered home designed by Virginia Tech students that generates more power than it uses annually. It was one of only two American entries in the 2010 Solar Decathlon Europe competition in Madrid, and was on display in Millennium Park in Chicago up until last weekend. Totally kicking myself for missing this.
LUMENHAUS is designed to respond to changes in temperature and environment, which it does through sliding polycarbonate insulation panels filled with aerogel, creating strong insulation while allowing a soft natural light into the space. They move to create appropriate amounts of sun control, cross ventilation, lighting, and privacy. A stretched fabric ceiling provides enough light at night with dim fluorescent and LED lighting, and no electric light is ever required when the sun is up. The roof collects rainwater, which is then filtered and used for drinking and for the water plants. The entire system is monitored and controlled by an iPad and iPhone interface that allocates energy to different areas of the system at different times.
(via fuck yeah chicago)
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