The Future of Solar Panels

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Our Thursday green news brings you the latest on green architecture, climate change, energy and communities:

Green architecture, organic architecture

Photo courtesy of Javier Senosiain

  • The future of solar panels: The future of solar panels is all about their affordability and flexibility. According to Silvija Gradecak, a materials science and engineering professor at MIT, new research from around the world is driving us ever closer to that goal. Just like many other scientists, she is focusing on a new class of solar panels, which are organic, thin-film cells made from abundant and robust materials that can be produced inexpensively. Her lab is currently releasing a new bendy, peel-and-stick transparent photovoltaic cell made from flexible graphene and a nanowire coating to prove it. Their product was recently published in the journal Nano Letters, where its creators demonstrated that half-inch-sized devices could be light, flexible, and transparent at a lower cost than comparable cells.
  • Organic house by a Mexican architect Javier Senosiain in Beton, Mexico: Organic architecture or architectural organicism is a design philosophy promoting harmony between human habitat and the natural world. Through the design Architects seek to understand and integrate natural surroundings into the building site, actual building as well as interior furnishings, so that they become a unified part of each other. Besides Javier Senosiain, the biggest proponents of the so-called organic architecture include Antoni Gaudí, Frank Lloyd Wright, Alvar Aalto, Louis Sullivan, Bruce Goff, Rudolf Steiner, Bruno Zevi, Gustav Stickley, Hundertwasser, Samuel Flores, Imre Makovecz and Antón Alberts.
  • The latest United Nations report on climate change:  The latest report from the UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) concluded that climate change was already having effects in real time: melting sea ice and thawing permafrost in the Arctic, killing off coral reefs in the oceans, and leading to heat waves, heavy rains and mega-disasters. But the worst scenarios are still to come. Climate change has already posed a threat to global food stocks, and to human security, according to the report. The chair of the IPCC Rajendra Pachauri stated: “Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change.”
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