The new york times
Off the Grid, on Maui
When Graham Hill began designing a house on Maui, he wanted more than a rustic surf shack. “I wanted to see what it was like to live in the future,” he said.
Mr. Hill, 47, is probably best known for starting the sustainability and design website TreeHugger. Since selling TreeHugger to Discovery Communications for $10 million in 2007, he has continued to champion sustainable living, and his current venture, LifeEdited, focuses on developing hyper-efficient, small-scale homes with moving parts.
Over the past decade, he has built a couple of tiny shape-shifting Manhattan apartments with sliding walls and expandable furniture, each of which served as his primary residence and a proof-of-concept for potential business partners.
But while he was attempting to solve the problems of urban living, Mr. Hill, an avid kitesurfer, would spend winters on Maui, visiting his cousin, Chelsea Hill.
“It’s whales and rainbows, wind and waves,” said Mr. Hill, who is Canadian but still prefers to excuse himself from New York snowstorms. “It’s just spectacular.”
– See more at: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/13/realestate/maui-sustainable-living.html
Graham Hill's Minimalist Single Family Tiny House Prototype, LifeEdited Maui: An off the grid, eco-friendly home on the idyllic island from the sustainability expert
"We’ve built these overwhelming lives for ourselves. Our bodies and our houses have ballooned. Many of us have a desire for a simpler life with less stuff," TreeHugger founder Graham Hill says as he looks out over the green valley behind his new minimalist house in the dreamlike Haiku community of Maui, Hawaii. It’s early morning, not long after his daily morning meditation and gratitude practice. "I think a simpler life is a happier life," he adds.
– See more at: http://www.coolhunting.com/travel/lifeedited-maui
LifeEdited’s newest home brings off-grid luxury to Maui
If you loved LifeEdited’s shape-shifting Manhattan apartment from a few years ago, prepare to be stunned by the design consultancy’s latest project—an off-grid luxury Maui home that produces more energy than it needs. While LifeEdited:Maui is more than double the size of the transforming Manhattan project, the Hawaii home was likewise built to push the envelope in sustainable design. The home, built for LifeEdited founder Graham Hill, offers the top of the line in eco-friendly and space-saving amenities, materials, and technologies – from Sunflare solar panels to Resource Furniture murphy beds.
– See more at: https://inhabitat.com/lifeediteds-newest-home-brings-off-grid-luxury-to-maui/
Six innovative solar systems that go beyond standard arrays
Solar technology has skyrocketed in recent years, as new innovations pave the way for more affordable designs that generate clean energy in unique ways. We’ve branched far beyond the familiar solar panel, with new developments that experiment with different shapes and materials to maximize the clean energy potential of the sun. Engineers have been working to create flexible solar cells that can adhere to nearly any type of surface. Innovations centered around concentrating and multiplying the sun’s energy have also increased in recent years, as more industry leaders look to ways to get a big bang from solar power without requiring huge swaths of land, which aren’t always readily available.
– See more at: https://www.engadget.com/2016/11/19/six-innovative-solar-systems-that-go-beyond-standard-arrays/
Vistabule teardrop trailers go off-grid with Sunflare flexible solar panels
Spending quality time out-of-doors is not only fun, but science says it's good for our well-being too. For camping enthusiasts, there's many ways to camp in comfort beyond a regular tent, and a lightweight teardrop trailer is one of them. Minnesota-based Vistabule makes some very nice retro-flavoured gems, and they are now partnering up with flexible solar panel maker Sunflare (previously) to offer a teardrop that can go off-grid, allowing you to turn on lights, charge your devices and even run a small refrigerator -- all powered by the sun.
Seen over at Inhabitat, there is a nice mix of portability, comfort and styling here. Vistabule teardrops are known for their large picture windows, clever space-saving features, such as fold-away tables and a "semi-automatic" bed that conveniently turns into a sofa, creating more interior space when you need it.
When in sofa-mode, a collapsible coffee table can be deployed; when the bed is in open mode, side tables can fold up from the side doors, meaning that there's always a table handy. The trailer's clever full-height headboard design is where you store your stuff.
The kitchen is simple but well-designed; there is lots of storage here, and best of all, there's a pass-through window that lets you pass dinner into the cab interior, in addition to allowing you to see from your car mirror all the way through the trailer and back at any traffic behind you.
With Sunflare's solar panels installed, you can completely charge two smartphones, or partially charge a laptop, turn on the lights and fan, or run a refrigerator for two and a half days, or operate a heater for three hours. As the CEO of Vistabule's parent company Bert Taylor explains:
"When we first started our business, we wanted to make a camping trailer that was beautiful, energy efficient, and would easily blend technology with human comfort. Adding Sunflare solar collection panels to our Vistabule trailers substantially lengthens the time campers can be off the grid, and greatly enhances the entire camping experience."
The base price for the Vistabule starts at USD $17, 995 before adding on options. Weighing in at 1,500 pounds, the Vistabule can be pulled by most small cars, making it a flexible option for those who are looking to camp in a little extra comfort. For more info, visit Vistabule and Sunflare.
– See more at: https://www.treehugger.com/tiny-houses/vistabule-teardrop-trailers-sunflare-flexible-solar-panels.html
The Bright Future Of Solar Power
Solar is booming. Solar power is now cheaper than coal in some parts of the world, and generating power from the sun is likely to be the lowest-cost energy option globally in less than ten years, according to Bloomberg. In many places around the world, solar is already the lowest-cost option.
Even the big utilities are moving rapidly toward solar (and wind, which is also poised to best coal in terms of cost). The New York Times reports that Xcel Energy—which provides electricity to the middle of the country, from Colorado to Texas to Michigan—has asked for proposals to build large wind and solar power plants in Colorado, and bids are already coming in lower than the operating costs for coal plants. West Coast energy provider Pacific Gas & Electric has committed to making renewable energy, including solar, 55 percent of its power portfolio by 2031. Many experts think that California will hit the 50 percent renewables mark by 2025—maybe even sooner.
Compounding solar’s impending energy dominance, researchers are exploring new ways to generate solar energy for human needs. Innovative methods of harnessing solar power, like stick-on solar tiles and solar roof shingles, may be coming soon to your neighborhood.
– See more at: https://www.greenamerica.org/new-green-tech-promises-and-pitfalls/bright-future-solar-power
These Super-Efficient Solar Panels Are Light Enough To Install Almost Anywhere
Sunflare is a Los Angeles startup that’s making solar panels smaller and lighter. That sounds pretty good, but the real innovation comes when you see what you can do with them.
Unlike heavier panels, which require proper construction techniques to hang, Sunflare’s panels are so light that the company claims they can be hung with “little more than a 3M tab on the side of buildings.” Add to that the fact that they’re flexible and you have a panel that can quickly be adapted to fit into any space that gets the sun.
– See more at: https://www.fastcompany.com/3058131/these-super-efficient-solar-panels-are-light-enough-to-install-almost-anywhere?partner=rss
direct from the designers
Cool Gadgets for Your New Home
Super lightweight and thin, Sunflare® solar cells will change what you think of harnessing your own green energy. They’re manufactured under exacting conditions for minimal environmental impact and can be applied to practically anything, making your solar powered dream no big deal.
– See more at: https://www.dfdhouseplans.com/articles/cool-gadgets-for-your-new-home.asp
Add solar power to your camper with this lightweight and efficient option
The advent of lightweight, affordable, and efficient solar panels has been a real game-changer for recreational vehicle owners. In the past, if they wanted to add solar power to their camper, it typically involved mounting large heavy panels to the roof. But now, a company called Sunflare came up with a new lightweight and flexible option that can still generate plenty of energy from the sun.
The breakthrough that Sunflare has delivered begins in the manufacturing process, which the company says is the cleanest and most environmentally friendly in the industry. Using what it calls Capture4 technology, the new Sunflare solar panels are created on a cell-by-cell level, which improves both durability and performance. This also allows the manufacturer to do things like add bypass diodes to each individual cell as well, giving them the ability to turn themselves off when shaded without negatively impacting the performance of any unshaded cells around them. The result is better energy production even in shady conditions.
– See more at: https://www.digitaltrends.com/outdoors/sunflare-solar-panels/#/4