China has recently completed construction of the world’s biggest solar farm. Called Longyangxia Dam Solar Park, the operation generates 850 Megawatts of electricity, which for the uninitiated, is enormous. Containing over four million solar panels, the plant can generate enough power from the sun to run nearly a quarter of a million homes. The Guardian has a good look at the new solar park, part of China’s giant effort to clean up their electrical generation. As solar prices get cheaper, look for more of these giant installations to help take our planet out of the age of coal, oil and gas.
This is just Wow. As an Oregonian, I’m very proud of my state. It’s people and politics and nature all add up to something special. But I’ve never seen the Beaver state like this, and I bet you haven’t either. Made using infrared converted cameras, Sam Forencich has created a masterpiece of scenery and landscape. Beautifully shot using drones and time lapse, the scenery looks completely otherworldly thanks to the way infrared lights things up. Mount Hood comes alive with colors you’ve never seen. Crater Lake looks like an alien landscape from a science fiction movie. Edited with brilliantly choreographed sound design, this is a fullscreen, sound-on affair. Do yourself a favor and devote 5 minutes fully to this video, entitled Invisible Oregon. It’s amazing. Via LaughingSquid:
This ingenious, miniature solar contraption unfurls like a flower, and tracks the sun, harvesting enough electricity for a four person family. The articulating design also completely folds flat, and tucks itself away into an unobtrusive, ground-mounted case. Smartflower, an Austrian company, claims their device gathers 40% more energy than roof-mounted systems. Smart, indeed.
Check out the video on Mashable:
Primitive Technology is a YouTube channel dedicated to building authentic, real world tools and structures using…. primitive technology. The latest creation is an impressive “bed shed”, an elevated platform with roof, allowing you to sleep off the ground and covered from the rain. Presented without voiceover or music, the videos posted are oddly peaceful and engaging.
Here’s a fun yet impactful way to remind people of the bad health that goes along with smoking. This clever campaign in Sweden uses a billboard with a built in smoke detector that coughs when someone nearby blows smoke. As FastCoExist says:
“You know it’s time to quit when you’re making inanimate objects uncomfortable.”
What would the original Mayflower voyagers have thought if it saw this sleek, unmanned catamaran silently sailing the ocean? Well, in 2020, this craft will set sail across the Atlantic, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the original Mayflower voyage. Dubbed the Mayflower400, this high-tech craft will set sail from Plymouth, in the UK, to the United States, on the same voyage path as the original. The ship’s goal:
To build an autonomous vessel capable of conducting scientific research with the endurance and reliability to operate remotely in all corners of the globe. The vessel is to be powered by renewable energy and where necessary compliant with maritime regulations. The vessel is to have undergone an extensive sea trial period and be ready to participate in the Mayflower 400 Commemorations in 2020.
Volkswagen did not have a good year, it’s fair to say. Their systematic cheating, lying, and polluting has finally come back to bite them, and it’s meant a massive blow to their bottom line. In addition, they will probably never sell another diesel car in the USA. So, the company is eager to redo their image, in a more eco-friendly, and futuristic way. Enter the fifth iteration of their iconic microbus redux, this time badged as the all-electric I.D. Buzz. Via Jalopnik and DesignBoom:
Unveiled as a concept car at the NAIAS in Detroit, this version seems to be slightly closer to reality than past iterations. And because VW is overdue for a hit, let’s hope this time, they actually build the car.
Designed to be a fully functional living room, the electric car is replete with touch screens, a pop-up coffee table, and a fully autonomous mode.
BMDesign Studios takes the issue of water scarcity, and flips it on it’s head… But seriously, this innovative design acts as a natural water harvesting device, using a simple concave form. Small raindrops coalesce into larger ones, and the resulting rainfall collects quickly. In addition, the bowled roof creates additional shade for the building below it, reducing surface temperatures, and decreasing the need for air conditioning.
For a prototype of a school building with 923 square metres (9,935 square feet) of concave roof, it is estimated that 28 cubic metres (7,396 gallons) of water would be collected — the architects say that’s about a 60 percent rate of efficiency
Click the images for a more detailed look.
A bank is not normally a place of visual inspiration. Aside from classic buildings with classic architecture, a bank is mostly devoid of character and design. DEM, a Chinese architecture firm, has changed that notion, with an immersive and high tech lobby that uses interactive touch floor panels, imagery of animals and nature, and more. Patrons of the bank can trigger thunderstorms, rainbows, sunrises and sunsets. All very un-bank-like, and very exciting. Via DesignBoom:
The ‘ol fishfinder can be put on a shelf, it has a new, high-tech replacement with the new PowerRay underwater drone, from PowerVision. Able to dive to 98 feet down, the PowerRay can beam 4K video via wifi to your device on the surface. A sonar device can work as a traditional fish finder, and there’s also an internal luring light, and a bait-release option, making this a powerful, and possibly unfair fight for a fish. Via Engadget: