Battleground Earth Sneak Peek: Tommy Lee and Ludacris Go Solar

Q: What do you get when you take Tommy Lee and Ludacris and add solar power? A: The setting for the first episode of Battleground Earth -- airing Thursdays at 8pm Eastern on TLC -- where the two musicians battle it out to see who's greener.

In the first episode, Tommy Lee and Ludacris duke it out in the "Raise the Roof" Challenge, which pits the green rivals (and their 'ecorages') in a race to see who can successfully raise the roof on a Solar LifePort -- complete with solar photovoltaic panels from Suntech Solar Technology -- in the least amount of time. Oh, and sabotage is allowed.

The LifePorts, developed by Envision Solar LifeSystems, are the first fully integrated, system-built photovoltaic solar carport for residential use (they also work in many light commercial and light industrial settings). They're designed to be both sun shades for your car, and an easy way to generate renewable energy; as soon as plug-in hybrid cars and/or electric cars are more commonplace, they'll add a third function as a fueling station for those cars. The ports are in development for both grid-tied and off-grid applications and are available for purchase as do-it-yourself kits or for easy assembly by a solar pro. Or, in the case of the show, entertainingly assembled by a bunch of raucous musicians.

One of the key ingredients -- perhaps the most important part of the equation -- are the solar panels that go on top of the LifePorts; for Battleground Earth, they were provided by Suntech Solar Technology; in addition to their rooftop photovoltaic panels, they have what they call the MSK Solar Design Line, which are their collection of Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) modules (an example is pictured above). These BIPV modules function, not as an add-on, but rather, as an integral part of the building skin; we've seen them before at REI's green prototype building in Boulder, CO. They can be used just like standard building materials, but with the added value of generating electricity directly from sunlight -- pretty slick.

What other slick tricks will pop up on Battleground Earth? Tune in and find out. ::Battleground Earth, ::LifePort Solar and ::SunTech Solar Technologies
More about Battleground Earth on TreeHugger and Planet Green
Tommy Lee, Ludacris to Star in Planet Green's Battleground Earth
Ludacris and Tommy Lee Rock Out on Battleground Earth
Tommy Lee And Ludacris Benefit Concert Celebrates Planet Green Premiere
TreeHugger Tip: Ludacris in the Bathroom
More solar power-related reading on TreeHugger and Planet Green
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REI To Open New Prototype Green Store in Boulder
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Tags: Planet Green | Solar Power | Solar Technology