The Inflection Point for Solar Energy | David Galipeau | TEDxBrookings

The Inflection Point for Solar Energy | David Galipeau | TEDxBrookings

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Solar energy has been hailed as the future of energy for decades. Finally, solar energy has reached the inflection point where it not only makes technological sense, but also economic sense.

Dr. David W. Galipeau is the Harold Hohbach Professor of Electrical Engineering and the Coordinator of the Center for Advanced Photovoltaics and Sustainable Energy; and Electrical Engineering MS and Ph.D. graduate programs at South Dakota State University. He was also the program lead for the Alternative Power Technology (APT) Program supported by the Department of Defense. While at SDSU, he has been the PI or Co-PI on over forty funded research projects, including twelve major NSF awards for over M and eight SBIR-STTR awards. He has published over 100 research papers, given numerous presentations, and established a spin off business. He was also Co-founder of the Center for Advanced Photovoltaics and Sustainable Energy.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Incredible Mini Earthship Style Cabin – Tiny Off Grid House With Solar Power

Incredible Mini Earthship Style Cabin – Tiny Off Grid House With Solar Power

In this video, we tour a mini earth ship style cabin at the Terra Perma community ( to learn how the building is designed to produce heat, water, and power; all while being 100% off-grid.

The interior design of the tiny house is not only functional, but incredibly beautiful as well: It features relief cob sculptures on the interior walls, a dazzling recycled bottle wall, and floor to ceiling south facing windows.

The tiny home away from home was built using over 200 recycled tires that were filled with earth and stacked in a semi circle to create the main wall of the cabin. This wall was then covered (backfilled) with a mound of earth to create a thermal mass that will store energy from the sun and help keep the home at a stable temperature year-round.

To mitigate temperature fluctuations, there is a wood stove and radiant in-floor heating for cold months, and when it’s warm out, there’s a low-tech air conditioning system that cools indoor air by circulating it through a pipe that is buried under the mound of earth at the back of the house, and bringing it back into the house at a cooler temperature.

The metal roof is built on an angle to optimize rainwater collection (their rainwater ducts had not yet been installed when we were there), and the overhang at the front provides shade to the structure during the summer to avoid overheating.

To power the in-floor heating system, the air pump, the lights, and the electrical outlets, there is a 1000 Watt solar power system installed behind the cabin.

You’ll notice that there is no toilet or shower inside the earthship. To keep things simple they built an outhouse toilet, and a communal shower block for all of the eco-lodges (kind of like what you’d find at a campground).

Terrasol is one of several miniature green building structures at Terra Perma that are rented to the public as vacation rentals. They’re also a great way for people to experience living in different types of sustainable, hand built structures to see what living off grid is like. In addition to the earthship, they have a mini cob and straw bale house, 2 yurts, a tiny house, and a mini cordwood cabin.

Terra Perma has property lots for sale for anyone who wishes to live in the permaculture community, and they also have cooperative business opportunities for eco-entrepreneurs.

Mat and I met Elan from Terra Perma during the tiny house festival in Lantier, Quebec in July 2016 and adjusted our filming schedule to stop by and check out the super cool buildings he was helping to put up in Harrington, Quebec, Canada. We camped in our van at Terra Perma for 2 nights and had fun exploring their mini sustainable buildings, swimming in their private lake, and tasting their homemade maple syrup!

To learn more about the Terra Perma project and their eco-lodge rentals, check out their website here:


You can also follow Terra Perma on Facebook here:

If you’d like to book a stay in the Terrasol mini earthship you can rent it out on airbnb here:

Thanks for watching!

Mat & Danielle


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Music & Song Credits:
All music in this video was composed, performed, and recorded by Mat of Exploring Alternatives.

Editing Credits:
Mat and Danielle of Exploring Alternatives

Filming Credits:
Mat of Exploring Alternatives
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Tesla and Solar City’s Island That Runs on Clean Energy

Tesla and Solar City’s Island That Runs on Clean Energy

A remote island of 600 in American Samoa just got a major gift from Solar City and Elon Musk: reliable power source. Solar City hooked up the tiny island of Ta’u with enough solar panels to supply its 600 residents, relieving them of their reliance on generators and expensive imported gasoline.

Read more:

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“the Charlavail” A Rustic, Solar, Tiny House on Wheels

“the Charlavail” A Rustic, Solar, Tiny House on Wheels

Check out Deek’s new book here:

Derek “Deek” Diedricksen, author of “Microshelters” (host of HGTV’s “Tiny House Builders”) talks to Domenic Mangano of The Jamaica Cottage Company in Jamaica VT/South Londonderry, VT. Domenic shows us his new tiny house on wheels model- “The Charlavail”- which features dual lofts, solar power, a standard-home sized show, a Dickinson Marine heater AND a Rinnai, and a very unique style of toilet.
You can find more from Dom at
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How We Turn Solar Energy Into Electricity

How We Turn Solar Energy Into Electricity

How We Turn Solar Energy Into Electricity

Solar panels are becoming cheaper and more efficient. So how exactly do they work?

Read More:
Cheap solar cells made from shrimp shells
“Researchers have successfully created electricity-generating solar-cells with chemicals found the shells of shrimps and other crustaceans for the first time.”

How Solar Got Cheap
“All my life, solar power has been the thing that’s coming in the future.”

The History Of Solar
“Solar technology isn’t new. Its history spans from the 7th Century B.C. to today.”

Photoelectric effect
“Photoelectric effect, phenomenon in which electrically charged particles are released from or within a material when it absorbs electromagnetic radiation.”

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