You can now Google your home to see if you should go solar

Google has put itself on the map by funding more than $2 billion in renewable energy projects.


Now the search giant wants to map the amount of sunlight your rooftop receives — and help you decide if it makes financial sense to go solar.

Dubbed Project Sunroof, the recently released online tool enables you to type in your address and find out how much space you have for solar panels on your roof, how many hours of rooftop sunlight you’ll get a year, and how much money you’d save.

After typing in your address, a Google Earth image of your home and the surrounding neighborhood appears, with the roofs appearing in colors ranging from purple to yellow to indicate how much sunlight is striking the surface. The photos, however, appear in some cases to be at least one or two years old.

“As Google, we knew we had the expertise to do this well using Google maps and aerial imaging,”

“As Google, we knew we had the expertise to do this well using Google maps and aerial imaging,” said Barry Fischer, a Google spokesperson. “Project Sunroof draws upon the same high-resolution imagery that powers Google Earth.”

The project — which started as the “20% time” effort of a Cambridge, Massachusetts–based Google software engineer — is a latecomer to the solar mapping scene.

City and state governments, the United States Department of Energy, and solar installers such as Sungevity have developed similar tools enabling curious homeowners to type in their address and determine how much solar power they can produce from a photovoltaic system.

But Google’s tool — which is still a pilot and so far only available for residents of the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, and Fresno, California — appears to be unique as it uses machine learning to distinguish a rooftop from, say, adjacent trees or lawns.

The team found that the accuracy of estimates of a roof’s solar capacity was increased by reducing the computer’s chance of mistakenly including surrounding trees or lawns when calculating the rooftop’s exposure to sunlight.

“Based on our testing, we found that using machine-learning techniques alone helped reduce classification errors by 75% compared to using traditional methods of determining the boundaries of buildings and rooftops,” Fischer said.

The method is also being applied to solar in other ways. Students at Duke University, for instance, are using machine learning to estimate U.S. solar capacity.

Project Sunroof will also recommend the size of solar system that you should install based on your average electricity bill. And it calculates how much you’ll save depending on whether you opt to finance the solar array with a loan, by leasing, or by purchase. Then it presents the option to request a consultation with Google’s solar provider partners — SunWork, Vivint, SunEdison, SunPower, or NRG Solar.

Fischer said in the future Google will collect a referral fee from those companies when a potential customer contacts it through Project Sunroof.

Google plans to expand the tool to other areas of the United States.

“During the coming months we’ll be exploring how to make the tool better and more widely available,” Fischer said.
fonte: em 22 ago 2015


A fully transparent solar cell that could make every window and screen a power source

Researchers at Michigan State University have created a fully transparent solar concentrator, which could turn any window or sheet of glass (like your smartphone’s screen) into a photovoltaic solar cell. Unlike other “transparent” solar cells that we’ve reported on in the past, this one really is transparent, as you can see in the photos throughout this story. According to Richard Lunt, who led the research, the team are confident that the transparent solar panels can be efficiently deployed in a wide range of settings, from “tall buildings with lots of windows or any kind of mobile device that demands high aesthetic quality like a phone or e-reader.”

Scientifically, a transparent solar panel is something of an oxymoron. Solar cells, specifically the photovoltaic kind, make energy by absorbing photons (sunlight) and converting them into electrons (electricity). If a material is transparent, however, by definition it means that all of the light passes through the medium to strike the back of your eye. This is why previous transparent solar cells have actually only been partially transparent — and, to add insult to injury, they usually they cast a colorful shadow too.

TLSC, colorful background

TLSC, organic molecules, emission graph

To get around this limitation, the Michigan State researchers use a slightly different technique for gathering sunlight. Instead of trying to create a transparent photovoltaic cell (which is nigh impossible), they use a transparent luminescent solar concentrator (TLSC). The TLSC consists of organic salts that absorb specific non-visible wavelengths of ultraviolet and infrared light, which they then luminesce (glow) as another wavelength of infrared light (also non-visible). This emitted infrared light is guided to the edge of plastic, where thin strips of conventional photovoltaic solar cell convert it into electricity. [Research paper: DOI: 10.1002/adom.201400103– “Near-Infrared Harvesting Transparent Luminescent Solar Concentrators”]

If you look closely, you can see a couple of black strips along the edges of plastic block. Otherwise, though, the active organic material — and thus the bulk of the solar panel — is highly transparent. (Read: Solar singlet fission bends the laws of physics to boost solar power efficiency by 30%.)

Michigan’s TLSC currently has an efficiency of around 1%, but they think 5% should be possible. Non-transparent luminescent concentrators (which bathe 
the room in colorful light) max out at around 7%. On their own these aren’t 
huge figures, but on a larger scale — every window in a house or office block — the numbers quickly add up. Likewise, while we’re probably not talking 
about a technology that can keep your smartphone or tablet running 
replacing your device’s display with a TLSC could net you a few more minutes or hours of usage on a single battery charge.
The researchers are confident that the technology can be scaled all the way 
from large industrial and commercial applications, down to consumer devices, while remaining “affordable.” So far, one of the larger barriers to large-scale adoption of solar power is the intrusive and ugly nature of solar panels — 
obviously, if we can produce large amounts of solar power from sheets of 
glass and plastic that look like normal sheets of glass and plastic, then that 
would be big.


Zero Waste// 4 Tips For Your Bathroom

The Picture Of Mary

Zero Waste// 4 Tips For Your Bathroom


Hey Chicks!  Mary collected a few tips that she and her boyfriend use in their daily lives. 1// Get a Lush solid shampoo bar! They work just as fine as a ordinary shampoo, though there is no bottle, no plastic, no waste. If you buy it in the store they’ll package the bar in either paper or a little tin container, just like she does. 2// Get a reusable shaver, her is from Third Field, the quality is amazing and it is a lot cheaper in the long run. 3// You can use baking soda for anything, including toothpaste, you can add a bit of flavour, but the result is the same as toothpaste. 4// Reuse emptied perfume bottles as small vases, it is super decorative and of course: no waste!

– See more at:
Porto Alegre – RS – bom fim dia 19 jan 2015 às 2:39 a.m.

da série: comunidades em rede

As árvores também têm seu próprio sistema de funcionamento em rede.
Pay attention.

In this real-life model of forest resilience and regeneration, Professor Suzanne Simard shows that all trees in a forest ecosystem are interconnected, with the largest, oldest, “mother trees” serving as hubs. The underground exchange of nutrients increases the survival of younger trees linked into the network of old trees. Amazingly, we find that in a forest, 1+1 equals more than 2.

fonte: ou


Sobre abelhas

PILNE: Pszczoły stają w obronie ludzi! Szczegóły w tym fantastycznym wideo!

Dowiedz się, jak Ty możesz – każdego dnia! – stanąć w obronie pszczół:

Urgente: As abelhas estão em defesa do povo! Os detalhes neste vídeo fantástico!

Aprenda como você pode! todos os dias.
Levante-se pelas abelhas: Traduzido por Bing

fonte: em 08 dez 2014 às 00:41 a.m. Bom Fim – Porto Alegre – RS – Brasil

Todmorden, el pueblo inglés auto-suficente alimentariamente.

food to sharefood to share

En dos años, la localidad ha cambiado radicalmente la manera como produce sus alimentos y la forma en que sus residentes se preocupan del medio ambiente. Para 2018 esperan que la ciudad sea totalmente autosuficiente.

El pueblo más comestible del mundo. Uno llega en tren a Todmorden, y lo primero que encuentra nada más salir de la estación es un suculento mapa de todos los cultivos que hay a mano, “Help yourself!” (“¡Sírvase usted mismo!”).

Se plantan a discreción verduras, hierbas y árboles frutales en 70 espacios públicos. Se forma una red de 280 voluntarios que se turnan y se dedican dos mañanas al mes a cuidar de los cultivos. Y todo el mundo (incluidos los turistas) pueden servirse gratis y a placercuando llega la hora de la cosecha. Veja o vídeo sobre a cidade e esta transformação:

fonte: em 19 mai 2014 às 22:20 – porto Alegre- Barão do amazonas.


compre menos. trabalhe menos. viva mais.

 “Temos que lutar para que todos trabalhem, mas trabalhem menos, todos devemos ter tempo livre. Para quê? Para viver, para fazer o que gostam. Isto é a liberdade. Agora, se temos de consumir tanta coisa, não temos tempo por que precisamos ganhar dinheiro para pagar todas essas coisas. Aí vamos até que pluff, apagamos.”
José Mujica – Atual Presidente do Uruguai. 21/03/2014