We’ve been talking so much about real estate trends and all the swanky new condo developments that we can expect to see in 2015, but there’s another, more subtle trend that’s already taking shape. And it’s environmentally friendly.
As CNBC reports, “New York City is experiencing a solar renaissance.” The city has seen a recent flurry of initiatives that advocate for green building, including Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion commitment to solar projects and his law that doubles tax breaks for those who install solar panels on their properties. Plus, in November, the City Council passed a bill that says New York City must cut greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.
Learn how NYC buildings are incorporating solar energy
It’s no secret that super tall, glassy towers are the go-to architectural style for many of today’s leading starchitects. But environmentalists worry that the huge expanses of curtain wall windows are not very eco-friendly. A new product, though, just might satisfy those on both ends of this debate.
Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a new transparent luminescent solar concentrator that creates solar energy when placed over a window. The exciting part is that the product is totally translucent, so people can still see through the window while the green technology is working. The concentrators can also be placed on cell phones or any device with a flat, clear surface.
Learn more about the solar cells here
You may have heard last year that scientists began exploring the idea of spray-paintable solar cells, and now researchers at Sheffield University in England have made a breakthrough that could bring this green energy dream one step closer to reality.
The advance comes from the use of organometal halide perkovskite, a mineral/crystal, organic/metal hydra, which offers the potential to combine high-performing, mature solar cell technologies with organic photovoltaics that have a low embedded energy cost.
More on the technology ahead
The design of this compact solar charging lantern, called Electree Mini, was influenced by bonsai trees and fractal patterns found in nature. Created by French designer Vivien Muller, it “provides solar-derived power to environments typically void of renewable energy.”
On the movable branches are small solar panels which capture sunlight — a play on photosynthesis. The solar energy is then stored in small batteries that can directly power up your gadgets. Electree Mini has the capability to charge AA and AAA batteries and comes with a USB port that will charge smartphones. At dusk, the tree automatically lights up, and when rotated the LED light sensors change colors.
More design details this way