Monday, February 04, 2013

Algae Powered Apartments About to Open

The walls of the four-story, 15-unit residential BIQ building in Hamburg, Germany, have large glass panels with microalgae inside. The bacteria-sized plants are fed with water and sun until they can be harvested and sent as a thick pulp to a nearby plant that converts the biomass to biogas. The algae will insulate the cubic building and cast shade during the summer months, when the plants will grow fastest as a result of longer days and more sunshine.

The panels can also absorb the sun’s rays to provide hot water and heating to the building, even storing extra heat in the ground as geothermal energy. The building is scheduled to open this spring.
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