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GRAZIA CASA July / August 2013 | N ° 7-8 monthly

Alternative Energy

Solar panels, wind turbines and even sculptures for cities with low environmental impact by Ilaria Bacciocchi

Sunlight, wind, heat: producing energy using natural resources. The search for alternative and clean energy sources leads to design solutions that are innovative and adaptable, particularly in the domestic environment. Each one of us, today, can produce the energy we consume and there are many leading companies specialised in consulting, designing and the delivery of customized solutions – Panasonic, Bosch, Gaia Energy, ENESSERE (pictured on the right, the wind turbine Hercules Wind Generator) – for a lifestyle with zero CO2 emissions. Financing solutions for the production of renewable energy are among the best available on the market of energy saving. A photovoltaic system for home use has a power of about 3 kW and allows you to reduce your energy bill to zero with only 22 square meters of PV panels. The installation costs are approximately € 10,000, paid off in five years of using the system. The estimated yield during the twenty years of life of the system corresponds to a value of 30-40,000euro. Even the production of wind power contributes to the energy independence of the home, transforming the power of the wind into clean electricity. Unlike solar panels, wind turbines need to be installed on suitable ground. The costs, as the dimensions, vary depending on the needs. A system with an installed capacity of 3 kW is suitable for the average electricity consumption of a family.

Even the design is made sustainable.

The Belgian designer Alain Gilles is the creator of the portable led lamp Nomad produced by O’Sun, designed to supply lighting to those without access to the electricity grid. It works with a system of small solar panels that during the day store the energy necessary to power the LEDs at night, offering six hours of autonomy.

Even art interprets solar energy.

This is the theme of Energitismo, a movement of visionary artists and enlightened entrepreneurs started in Italy in 2011 that investigates and explores the aesthetic value of new solar technologies, creating works of art. Such as the constellation Solar Medusa, presented in Rome in June, which is composed of sculptures made by freeing the solar panels from the “rigid straight line.”

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