Enel Archimede plant in Italy. Photo: Enel
This July the Italian utility Enel unveiled “Archimede”, one of the most important developments in the emerging field of concentrating solar power (CSP). The launch showcases this power plant as the first CSP plant in the world to use molten salts for heat transfer and storage.
Archimede, a 5 MW plant located in Priolo Gargallo (Sicily). The breakthrough project was co-developed by the utility, Enel, and ENEA, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development. The name, “Archimede,” refers to the rows of huge parabolic mirrors used to capture the sun’s rays, recalling the “burning mirrors” that Archimedes is said to have used to set fire to the Roman ships besieging Syracuse during the Punic War of 212 BC.
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Taking the roofs-first approach, a kitchen is built in Rwanda. Source: George Nez
On one Denver, Colorado back lot a visitor will encounter an unorthodox-looking roof that just might help meet the housing needs of displaced people worldwide.
The roof, shaped like a hyperbolic paraboloid, was constructed on the ground and then lifted in place by African student builders who wanted to build similar structures in locales like Rwanda and Sudan.
Remarkably strong and weather resistant, this new age shelter contains few structural elements, can be constructed without electrical power, and costs very little money.
George Nez is the developer of this roof system, simply calling it a “hypar roof.” Those familiar with his work – especially those builders in Rwanda and Sudan – fondly refer to this structure as the “Nez roof.” The roof is built using latex-modified concrete that is painted over a mesh backing. A video interview with Mr. Nez can be seen here. Read more of this >>
Windpipe developer, John Tuttle Photo: http://windpipenews.com
The dramatic vista of noisy wind farms featuring towers that go the length of a football field will soon change, if John R. Tuttle has any say about the matter. “We’re nearing the end of that road,” says this engineer and inventor, who has multiple patents pending for his direct conversion wind-to-electricity system known as the Windpipe.
The most remarkable detail about this simple mechanism is that has no visible moving parts – only a hollow pipe with a configured nozzle that draws wind down its length, then converting it to electricity. The Windpipe requires no propellers, turbines, or rotating machinery. And unlike numerous propeller-driven towers, does not stop generating electricity when the wind velocity reaches higher than 55 miles per hour. Read more of this >>
For those stumped over what things to give this holiday season, try giving a tree, then help with the planting.
The Canada-based Tree Culture Association, founded by people who have put tree products to use — printers — is introducing new digital gift card. The gift cards are already available in different denominations through the Tree Culture website, www.treeculture.org, across Canada and the United States.This is a website worth the visit.
According to this organization, the person looking to give a unique gift simply needs to visit the Tree Culture website, choose how many trees to give, fill out some basic information, add a personal message to the recipient, and set a date to send the gift card. The recipient will then receive an email with an attached digital gift card. “They read their congratulatory message and follow a link to the world map. There they get to drag a tree around the map and place it in one of the regions where Tree Culture Association has planting projects in place. Our system registers that” says Igal Rogalsky, one of this organization’s founders.
Tree Culture Association is a non-profit initiative that was established by Victor Narynskyyi and Igal Rogalsky in Kelowna, BC. Both come from the printing industry and Tree Culture Association is a result of their efforts to make the printing businesses more environmentally sustainable. The mission of the organization is to compel producers and consumers of printed materials to plant a tree with every print order. The gift cards is their initiative to create more public awareness about their organization.
We send our hearty applause for this effort!
This commentary by Marc Stoiber can be read in its entirety at Sustainable Life Media. I believe this is a good location for connecting to a collection of sustainability oriented people, events, and ideas. The following words, copied from the October 29, 2009 issue touched me with an encouraging ping, so I chose to share some of them, adding my own emphasis:
“Executives today are being taught about ’social innovation’, a term that seamlessly incorporates the best of the above three terms, and reaches further – bringing along collective spirit, new thinking and economic responsibility for the ride.
“How does this work in real life? Consider:
“Ford developed a plastic shipping container used to ferry parts from one plant to the next. The shipping container eliminates the use of cardboard, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, reduces the number of shipments required, and is more ergonomic for factory workers. It is also recycled into splash shields for the F-150. Read more of this >>
Boulder's Best Organics
With the holiday season approaching, some folks may want to learn more about Best Organics, he company that provides Boulder’s Best Organics and Colorado’s Best Organics.
Adriane Little, an account manager for Best Organics, says one of the company’s target markets is the business sector. “We are targeting business to business sales and focusing on many different business industries, including natural and organic, service industries, medical industries, renewable energy companies, marketing/advertising, law firms, accounting, and many more.” Read more of this >>
For those who do not know Earthship, one of these scheduled webinars might be a great time to visit. And the price is exceptionally good, as is the subject matter! GRM
“Long Way Home and Architects for Humanity will present world-renowned founder of Earthship Biotecture, Michael Reynolds (http://www.earthship.net/home/begin-here.html) as part of BuildBoston 2009 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston on Nov. 18, 2009 from 7 until 8 pm.
“Reynolds is best known for starting Eathship.net, a socially conscious construction venture that builds homes out of garbage with yearly utility bills under $100.”
Nov 16 and Dec 15 events: Read more of this >>
Today we received word from Chris Edwards, sales coordinator at Colorado-based New Wave Enviro Products. I believed my email box contained just one more of the many green promotional pitches I wade through, until I read further, especially the last line.
Here are clips from Mr. Edwards’ letter (emphasis place by me):
“…we manufacture and distribute water products, mainly through Natural Foods Retailers across the Nation. We have been in business for over 15 years and our products offer consumers a way to live litter free and chemical free lives by filtering the water they drink, they shower and bathe in, and a way to ease the problem with our nation’s landfills.
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Even at the risk of preaching, it is critical for all to comprehend what is happening with carbon on this planet and learn how we might better manage output. GRM
Auto graveyard - Nebraska farm Photo: Glenn Meyers
The following clips come from Matt Cawood, writing on a study from the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists at farmonline:
“Agricultural land could be the focus of an “economic opportunity of unparalleled scale”, according to the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, which has called for a re-write of emissions trading legislation to properly recognise “terrestrial carbon”.
“In a discussion paper released earlier this week, the Group argues that by focusing on terrestrial carbon sequestration as a solution to climate change, Australia can simultaneously address many of its most pressing environmental challenges.
“Terrestrial carbon includes carbon stored in forests, woodlands, swamps, grasslands, farmland, soils, and derivatives like biochar and biofuels.
“We’re about to create a multibillion dollar terrestrial carbon market, and that has the potential to radically change our rural landscapes,” said Wentworth Group director Peter Cosier. “We have to maximise the benefits and minimise the consequences.”
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