August 31, 2009

Zyrus Mini Sun Drive


Zyrus is taking the solar charger to a whole new level with its minute Sun Drive. The Korean device can charge cell phones, MP3 players and digital cams. At a size of only 64x 25.8mm, the charger provides up to 100 minutes of talk time and about 30 hours of standby. It has a MSRP is 29,000 (KRW) (~$23.00.)

Via Aving

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 31, 2009

Odysseus Segmented Solar Plane


Odysseus was made to compete in a DARPA competition and designed for endurance. The 492 ft. wide concept made by Aurora Flight Sciences is actually 3 planes in one that can fold up or cruise at 140mph at a height of 70,000 feet. The aircraft is powered by solar panels located at the top of the plane and its parts can be repaired or exchanged while in flight. The company believes that it can be used to monitor weather or aid in border control and hopes to have a full-sized prototype in the next five years.

Via Popsci

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August 28, 2009

Site O' the Week: Philips SMILE


Kudos to Philips for creating a lighting program named SMILE for those who have no access to electricity, about one quarter of the planet. They have developed a portable solar lantern with flourescent and LED lighting. A day of charging gives 4 hours of light. They have been testing models in India and hope to extend it to Africa with Uday Lamp and with other products such as a hand-cranked flashlight. We are so impressed that we made the site our SOW.

Via Philips

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August 28, 2009

Solar Sound Speakers Go Bluetooth


Devotec has what they claim to be better solar power speakers. The Solar Sound 2W devices include Bluetooth and remote control and can even be used with an iPhone with a 3.0 software update. They also double as wired speakers with included cables and have an internal rechargeable battery. Recharge in 4 hours by AC/USB or 12-24 hours from the solar panel. Get yours for $99.99.

Via Devotec Industries

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August 27, 2009

Tartaruga - Solar Yacht Prototype


What could be more logical than a solar yacht, even if it is less the 40 ft. The 30 foot Tartaruga is a prototype designed for up to 4 inhabitants with a double and 2 single beds, kitchen, bathroom with shower and storage area. All told, there is a 40 square meter area of photovoltaic panels supported by batteries that allow it to go up to a 7 knots speed.

Via Trendhunter

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Elenco Solar Deluxe Kit


This Solar Kit from Elenco is a great way to introduce your kids to saving the planet while making it fun. It includes 3 sets of pre-wired 5VDC solar cells that are mounted on frames, a 5V DC motor with mount, fan blade and discs, a 5V bulb with leads and graphic cards. The 14 page instruction booklet lets them learn how to make a solar circuit and how to use solar power to produce energy for a radio, calculator, battery charger, PMP and other devices.

Via Elenco Solar Deluxe Kit

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August 26, 2009

Smart Sun Solar Cooker


The Smart Sun Solar cooker was intended for those who want to make a meal outside even on a foggy day. The top cover has solar cells that collect energy and induction heating and steam will heat up your can of Dinty Moore in no time. Designed by Anil Dincer and Murat Ozveri for DesignQuadro, the device includes 3 sizes of pots for feeding one or a small horde.

Via Yanko

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Japan's UFO Solar Processors


While China concentrates on cleaning its parks' water systems with solar power, Japan has gone the clean water route one step further. NTT Facilities have developed solar power processing plants that look more like UFOs than functioning tools. They claim that the system can remove pollutants from up to 2,400 gallons of water per day. Used in Osaka's Dontonbori Canal, each sucks up water from the bottoms and sends it out clean on the top. The result is both an attractive fountain and a way to keep the solar panels cool.

Via Pink Tentacle

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August 25, 2009

Solaris Lamp Prototype


Ondrej Vaclavik has some slick looking concepts, including this solar powered Solaris lamp. Its panel charges its internal batteries that fuel the LED lights. The light can be carried by hand or attached to a backpack or pocket.

Via Vaclavik Design

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Cheer Up With Cheeky Solar Monkey


Feeling depressed? Dejected? Always wrong? The 3 x 4 x 3" Solar Monkey will continuously agree with you by nodding his head. You won't need batteries, but make sure you have some bright light around to keep him happy and cheeky.

Via Solar Monkey

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August 24, 2009

BioReactor Combines Art With Utility


It won't be long before someone wandering down a street in LA will come across the Flower Street BioReactor. A combination of art and function, it will be constructed of transparent acrylic with LED lights fueled by a solar array that can change in color and brightness. The result will produce algae that can be made into oil by photosynthesis. Designed by Emergent, the shop window will be complete next year and is being designed to raise awareness of alternative fuels.

Via dezeen

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UCF's Solar Car

The University of Central Florida's David Norvell, the director of the Office of Sustainability and Energy Management, has adopted a ZENN brand NEV with 3 solar panels to make it energy efficient. It can reach a maximum speed of 25 mph and cost him about $20,000 to convert. The college has had the car since December, has logged about 1,600 miles and Norvell says they have yet to have to plug it in.


Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 21, 2009

Beijing Adopts Solar Water Cleaners


In an effort to clean up their act water, China has been installing solar cleaning devices in Zizhuyuan Park in Beijing. About 10 of the devices were placed. No offense to iRobot's Verro, but what a fine idea for cleaning swimming pools. We actually found this Floatron that cleans without chemicals. Instead, it uses mineral ions, giving the device double kudos in our book.

Via People's Daily

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FLAP Visits Africa


Founder Erik Hersman of AfriGadget got a group together to create a solar powered messenger bag. The result was FLAP (Flexible Light and Power) that can charge its built-in LED light and USB connection. He took ten of the prototypes through Ghana, Kenya and Uganda to see what they thought of the idea as sometimes electricity is not always available in outlying areas. Check out his site for pictures, video and general reaction to his project.

Via Afrigadget

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August 20, 2009

Nevada to Build New Solar Plant


Renewable Ventures has teamed with NV Energy to provide energy from a 26 megawatt DC solar photovoltaic power plant that will be constructed in the vicinity of Searchlight. The agreement will help NV Energy to meet that state's portfolio standard that expects 25% of all energy to be generated by renewable resources by 2025. About 200 new jobs will be created and enough energy to power about 5,000 homes annually. The project should be completed by the end of 2010.

Via Solar Buzz

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Advanced Elements Solar Shower


We have found another cool camping accessory that will make your trip a lot more comfortable. Advanced Elements' 5 gallon Summer Shower contains an insulator panel to generate warm water quicker. Made with a durable 4-ply construction, it has a large fill valve, twist off cap, water temperature gauge and mesh pocket with mirror. The roll up shower comes with hose fastener and d-ring tie downs.

Via Advanced Elements Summer Shower

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August 19, 2009

Solar Coffee Maker Inspired by Documentary


While this may be the first solar Coffee Maker concept, it will undoubtedly not be the last. The small appliance houses a battery that is charged by the sun. Gun Ho Lee also gave it an LCD display with amount of power, hot plate and pod filter. The designer was apparently inspired by watching a documentary about how carbon effects the ecosystem. Maybe that should be required for all.

Via Home Tone

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

GMT LED Automatic Rechargeable Solar Lantern


GMT's LED Solar Lantern is a perfect accessory for your next camping trip. It automatically recharges and has a 100,000 hour light source. Made of stainless steel, it will go up to 10 hours on high output or 20 on low when used as a nightlight. The SL 900 can also be used for an emergency flasher, runs on a 6V 4AH sealed lead acid battery and carries a price of $75.00.


Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 18, 2009

Leaf Solar Cell Phone


Seungkyun Woo and Junyi Heo have designed the Leaf, a wearable bracelet cell phone with their inspiration coming from photosynthesis. With solar cells on the front for power, its dock has cells for additional charging when not in use. Electricity is also incorporated for emergency usage. Made for calls and messages only, the phone's objective is to "remind people that they can contribute to energy efficiency."

Via Yanko

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Take Powerpack Solar On Your Next Outing


The XPower Powerpack Solar is the perfect take along for hiking, camping or other outdoor activity and can extend run times up to 25%. Self-renewing, the detachable 5W panel can recharge its 10 amp-hour battery. It has 2 120V AC outlets, a 12V DC socket and USB port making it easy to charge your portable media player, small appliance, cordless phone, air compressor or other small electronics simultaneously. A 3 digit display monitors the battery status and an AC charger is included for charging during the dark times.

Via XPower Powerpack Solar

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August 17, 2009

Chris Boardman Designs the Bike of the Future


Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman and SkySports teamed to come up with the "everyday" bicycle of the future. The bike uses carbon fiber, has puncture proof tires, a fingerprint activated locking system and a small battery with solar panels. Boardman said that, "Carbon-fibre is definitely the future of bike technology as it is strong, super-lightweight and's like lego for adults and would help people store and transport their bikes."

Because carbon fiber is somewhat expensive, it may be a while before this one hits the road.

Via SkySports

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Site 'O the Week: ASES


Our SOW this week is the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society, which has been around since 1954. They not only publish Solar Today magazine, they are behind the ASES National Solar Conference and Solar Tour. Their GreenStart Job Board has many resources for those who are looking for employment. The site will also help you find a residential or commercial installer. There are tools and maps and an almost unlimited starting point for all things solar. Become a member for as low as $39.00 a year and they will keep you in touch not only by sending you their mag, but letting you know about recent events, news, how you can become greener and help others do the same.


(Contact us if you or someone you know has a site that would make a good SOW!)

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 14, 2009

Solar Panel Ventilator Fan


Want to go green but don't know where to start? This silent solar panel Ventilator Fan can be mounted on almost any type of surface on your home, boat, individual room, dog house or any other building. Simple to install, it needs no wiring, batteries or other power source. It will help keep you (or your pet) cool and remove odor while letting out the hot air. At a size of a mere 6 x 6", the vent comes with a mounting base plate and grill, fan and solar panel.

Via Ventilator Fan

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Padre Pio Solar Statue


While the idea is admirable, we also find it kind of creeps us out. Italy will be building a 200 ft. high statue of Padre Pio, who was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002. It will be erected near the town of San Giovanni Rotondo in the southern province of Puglia. The padre will be coated with photovoltaic paint making it a solar energy source. Perhaps the idea will catch on. We can envision a solar Rocky at the top of those stairs in Philly, a solar Trigger (the original was mounted and on display) and what better way to remember Edwin Hubble and/or his namesake telescope than by NASA erecting a statue of him and his creation on the grounds of their Sustainability Base.

Via Telegraph

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August 13, 2009

Orange Goes Green in Dominican Republic


Orange has initiated the Dominican Republic's first GSM network that will run completely on solar power. Part of a program nicknamed Oryx, the stations should be 10 times more efficient than electric ones. Add to that zero CO2 emissions, fuel spillages or noise. Orange is planning to build 30 base stations, with each generating 700 - 1,000W. The overall outcome is that the country will reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 20% and energy consumption by 15% by 2020.

Via Communications Direct News

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NASA to Build Sustainability Base


Later this month, NASA will begin work a Sustainability Base (named as an homage to the original Tranquility Base,) at Ames Research Center in Sunnyvale, CA. Goals include zero net energy consumption, a reduction of water consumption by more than 90% in comparable buildings of that size and lower maintenance costs. The $20.6 million building will be the greenest government edifice to date and will utilize water recycling systems, fuel cells and solar panels.


Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 12, 2009

Walmart to Go Solar in Puerto Rico


Although Walmart is on the bottom of our list for shopping (check sometime and see if anything they carry is made in the US) they do have a good idea when it comes to powering up. They are going to provide rooftop solar power to five of their stores in Puerto Rico. In an arrangement with SunEdison, the next 5 years may find an additional 23 stores added. Each system can provide up to 35% of the store's electricity.

Other large retailers are doing likewise as SunPower Corp. is working with JC Penney, the Gap, AT&T and Constellation Wines to finance, own and operate solar power systems.

Via Green Biz

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Sanyo's Portable Solar Panel and Neck Warmer


Sanyo, the parents of our favorite batteries on the planet, eneloops, has now designed a portable solar solution. Carry the eneloop Portable Solar Panel with you during the day or hang in a sunny spot in your back yard and juice up your cell phone, portable game system or other electronic device by USB. You will need the Mobile booster that contains the Li-ion battery that stores the energy. It can take up to 3 days to fully charge the booster which will give you up to 40 minutes of talk time on a cell phone. The panels will go on sale in August in either a single or twin HIT type.


Also available will be a rechargeable solar Neck Warmer for those in chilly climates. The one-size-fits-all design is also unisex and comes in white or grey.

Via Sanyo News

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August 11, 2009

MercuryHouseOne - Solar Water Drop


Architecture and Vision has designed a mobile lounge, inspired by "the beauty and perfection of a water drop." The MercuryHouseOne, which will be debuted in Venice this September, was meant to be situated almost anywhere and has a Carrara marble shell that is back lit at night. The unit is powered by solar cells and is energetically autonomous, while the interior is designed for multiple configurations.

Via Dezeen

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eSolar Opens CSP Plant in CA Desert


Bill Gross, CEO of eSolar, a Google-funded startup (yes, they are taking over the world,) has opened its first solar thermal plant in the Southern California desert near Lancaster. The Sierra SunTower is said to produce energy at a lower cost than other plants with concentrated solar power (CSP) using 24,000 mirrors. Southern California Edison has teamed with eSolar and the tower will supply 5MW energy to the grid. Although that's not a great amount, it's a good start.

Via earth2tech

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August 10, 2009

Panasonic to Provide Batteries for MIT SEVT


Panasonic is going to support the MIT SEVT (Solar Electric Vehicle Team) in the Global Green Challenge that will be held this October in Australia. The company will be providing high-capacity (2.9 Ah), Lithium-ion batteries to run their solar vehicle named Eleanor in exchange for its logo on the body. Panasonic will also be providing the same power to Japan's Tokai University's vehicle.

By the way, if you would like to help the MIT team out, you can adopt a solar cell. For $30.00, you will receive a certificate signed by the members and feel a part of the event.

Via Panasonic Press

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Site O' the Week: 1BOG


We were so impressed with 1BOG that we wanted to find out more about the company. We spoke with Brad Burton, Marketing and Development Manager, who gave us such a fine interview that we were inspired to make them Solar Snob's first SOW (Site O' the Week.)

(By the way, if you think your site should be a future SOW drop us a few lines, a link to your Website and how we can get in touch with you.)

We love the idea of organizations that are trying to make a difference on the planet like 1BOG. Tell us the basics (and what the name means.)

As far as the name 1BOG, it stands for "One Block Off the Grid". Our name is, admittedly, a bit confusing since we don't actually take people off the grid, and we don't actually work one block at a time. Makes sense, huh? Well, in any case, we feel like it's appropriately evocative of what our mission is all about -- encouraging people to adopt renewable energy at a previously unheard-of pace by working together with their communities. By banding together, we're able to reduce the upfront cost of renewable energy and share information, making the entire process more affordable and easier and more enjoyable to navigate.

How did you come up with the idea?

The idea for 1BOG was born of necessity, really. Dan Barahona and Sylvia Ventura (two of the three co-founders) are a San Francisco couple who wanted to put solar on their home. After spending the better part of a year researching all of the technologies, rebates, and installers, they finally decided to install -- but they felt that the process had been more expensive and complicated than it needed to be. That combined with many of their friends asking them to share the information they had learned helped them realize that this was an idea that could be implemented on a larger scale, allowing more people get access to discounts and information. Group people together to negotiate for better deals collectively, while at the same time allowing for information and knowledge to be shared among the group. That's the basic idea.

Your site is extremely detail oriented. How long have you been working on this?

Our site has evolved over the past year, and has experienced several very different phases. We've always had as a central objective the development of accessible, digestible web content that people can use to help them better understand the solar scene. So, working towards a site that has lots of details about how technology, rebates, pricing, etc. work is really important to us. We work at it literally every day.

How does one qualify for eligibility?

Anyone can sign up on our site and get information about how renewable energy can be part of their daily lives. Becoming qualified for solar is a slightly different issue, however, and we basically just want to help people understand how installation might affect their unique situation. We try to make sure that people who either have bills that are very low, or who have significant shading on their roof understand that installing solar might not pencil out in their financial best interest. We have other programs that we're piloting or developing that can help them green their lives as well. But basically, for us to recommend that installing solar is the right choice, their bill needs to be above a certain point (which varies depending on where they are), and their roof needs to have appropriate space and sun exposure.

How many participants does it take to become a group?

We say that it requires 100 qualified members to launch our program in a new city. Once we've launched our program in a new market, we run a new campaign there every 4 months.


The more there are in the group, the more they save?

Once we've established pricing in a campaign, that's the pricing that everyone gets. When we say that the more people who sign up, the more everyone saves, what we're speaking of is the strength of the program in general. When more people sign up with us, we all gain bargaining power with installers and are able to continue to negotiate for better deals all over the place.

How long does the entire process take?

As I mentioned, a campaign lasts for 4 months. During that period, we run a RFP process, grow our member base in the area, and allow time for the installers to do site evaluations. Once a contract has been signed between a 1BOG member and an installer, it's usually between 3 and 6 weeks for all the permitting, planning, and installation to be taken care of (which is standard for any solar installation situation).

How much can one save with 1BOG?

By going solar through 1BOG rather than by yourself, you can save between 15% - 20% from retail.

Can you help with financing?

We do have a partnership with a company called SunRun, which offers a new type of financing called a Power Purchase Agreement. The way a PPA works is that SunRun pays the upfront cost of installation, guarantees production for 18 years, and takes care of any ongoing maintenance that might be required. In return, you pay them a monthly fee for the electricity that's produced - it's a great way to lower the upfront cost and make solar a no-hassle investment. Otherwise, we don't offer financing ourselves, but can give information about what's available and what works best in any given situation.

Can you do something for individuals?

Individuals are obviously welcome and encouraged to sign up at our site, there's no requirement to bring a large group with you (though we love it when that happens) -- growing the group is largely our job. It's likely that folks who hear about us live in a city with an active campaign, so just by signing up on our site, they join our community and our group purchase. That's the beauty and simplicity of how 1BOG works.

We recently did a report about Pacific Island nation of Tuvalu. They are trying to go solar to save their existence. How about you try teaming with them? I think that they would all (10,000 of them) love the idea.

I've read a bit about the efforts in Tuvalu to power themselves entirely on solar, and I think it's a great initiative. I honestly hadn't really put much thought into how we could potentially get involved there, but that's certainly an extremely worthy cause, and one that we should look into.


How many cities are involved so far?

So far, we have active campaigns in 5 cities, with a 6th on its way within the month. Those include SF Bay Area, LA, San Diego, New Orleans, and Denver. Sonoma County is up next, launching very soon.

Have you ever tried to figure out how much of a difference you have made?

We've helped over 230 families go solar to date, which represents a very large single chunk of solar installations in the past year. In terms of how much carbon that has offset, or how many miles of driving it has offset, we're not certain in precise terms, but it's definitely nothing to sneeze at. As we continue to grow, these values will increase very rapidly.

What if a city isn't listed?

That just means that we haven't gotten enough traction there to launch our program. If people in cities where we're not yet active are interested in helping us establish ourselves there, we're extremely happy to help them figure out how to do that. We have a full-time Field Director here whose job it is to empower people out in the field to successfully engage their communities, and adding more cities to the list of our active campaigns is something we're always excited to be able to do.

Tell us about the launch of a new program.

Our campaign timeline operates on a 4 month cycle, therefore we're able to run 3 per year per city. In the first month, we release a Request For Proposal to interested installers in the area and take responses. We use that time to have question and answer possibility and to work out contract negotiation. During the second month, we aggressively grow our member base to make the program as large as possible. The final two months are reserved for the installer to complete site evaluations and present proposals and contracts. Once those 4 months are over, we repeat the process.

If something goes wrong with installation or other aspects, do you have a guarantee?

Any installer we partner with has a comprehensive installation warranty and guarantees the work they do. If there is ever a problem with how the work was done, they're on the hook for it. Making sure that the installer we work with is trustworthy and has a good track record and performance guarantees is an extremely important part of the vetting process that we do during the first month of RFPs we do at the outset of each campaign.

We mentioned Santa Monica recently and the fact that they restrict placement of solar panels. Do you make sure to adhere to those kinds of guidelines.

Again, this is on the installer. It's incumbent upon them to understand all local zoning and permitting laws and to perform their installations legally and responsibly.

Do you ever attend or put on events that are related to 1bog?

Absolutely. We make a point of presenting at HOA (Homeowners Associations) meetings, neighborhood council meetings, farmers markets, etc. We also work with homeowners to host house parties where entire neighborhoods can come together to talk about the benefits of going solar all together. Getting people physically together is definitely part of how we operate.


Even if they don't qualify, how can volunteers help your organization?

The most important way people can help us out is by spreading the word. That can mean posting on their Facebook profile, handing out flyers, or just reading up on our program and talking about it with their friends. There are a number of more involved ways that people can help spread the program, but we thrive on word of mouth transmission, so just educating oneself and speaking to friends about our program is extremely helpful.

How can people who are interested get in touch with you?

If folks want more information, they can find pretty much everything on our website, 1BOG. If they don't find what they're looking for there, they can
always shoot us an email at, or directly to me (, Kanyi, our Field Director (, or Dave Llorens, our General Manager (

Brad, thanks for taking the time for this interview and best of luck!

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 7, 2009

Hot Pot Saves Energy, Assists Developing Countries


Save the planet, save personal energy and help someone who is less fortunate than yourself. Next time you reach for that crock pot, think solar instead with the Hot Pot. The steel oven with glass bowl has aluminum reflector sides and can reach a temperature of up to 360-400ยบ. A one hour charge can result in up to 6 hours of cooking time.

The 15 x 15 x 10" Hot Pot was designed and tested over a 6 year period. Sales help subsidize distribution of them in developing countries where traditional cooking may cause respiratory disease and deforestation.

Via Solar Hot Pot

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Studio Formwork Develops Solar Skin


Concrete buildings that may not be ideal candidates for solar panels may be able to utilize Solar Skin. Studio Formwork has devised a lightweight, inflatable temporary skin that consists of an entire system of solar components zipped together. Each skin is 4 x 2.5 ft. and is made of white foam cylinder pieces that can be installed on a either a building or house.

Via Studio Formwork

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 6, 2009

India To Be Solarized by 2050


Last month we reported that India is working towards a greener country and they have released specifics on the subject. They are planning on scaling up their centralized solar thermal power generation by 2020 and a full infrastructure by 2050. Considering that they only have a capacity of 3 megawatts at this point, that seems a challenging task. The Indian newspaper Hindu reports that their "solar mission" will include small-scale photovoltaic panels, solar lighting systems, and commercial-scale solar plants in both rural and urban areas for both residents and businesses.

Via Hindu

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Solar Power Your Home For Dummies


It's true. The world of Dummie books has one for those who want to go solar but don't have a clue. "Solar Power Your Home For Dummies," by Rik DeGunther, will help you to figure out your current energy efficiency in your home and decide where solar power is best used. You can also find if the investment will be worth it before you build and whether or not you should hire someone or DIY. There is even a chapter on solar mistakes that can save you money before you get in too deep.

Then again, if you know what you are doing but like to create, "Solar Energy Projects for the Evil Genius," written by Gavin D. J. Harper, provides you with plans, instructions, parts lists, and sources. Build a solar hot dog cooker, environmentally friendly robot or "death ray" for alien invasions.

Via Solar Books

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 5, 2009

Solar Frost Air Conditioner Prototype


Industrial designer Philip Stankard has a new concept designed for keeping cool. The Frost system works by replacing outlet electricity by solar panels that collect electricity during peak daytime hours to be used later. An ice pack is placed in a refrigerator freezer to chill and cool the solar air conditioner's breeze. Nice idea, Philip.

Via Coroflot

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Blue Crystal Hotel in Dubai?


Temporary ice hotels exist in northern locations such as Canada and Russia that melt when spring arrives. Designers Frank and Sven Sauer claim that they are building the Blue Crystal Lodge in Dubai that will stay up year round. The hotel complex will consist of 5 floors with several restaurants, a ballroom and underwater lounge. While we are not sure this will become more than a prototype, the German duo says that it will run on solar cells and an energy recycling system. We think the design is nifty and maybe others will be spurred on to create their own energy-saving domiciles.

Via Blue Crystal

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 4, 2009

Oregon Man Builds Solar Greenhouse Dome


Collin Dunn's father lives in Oregon and only has a growing season of about 80 days. He wanted a garden anyway and built himself a geodesic dome solar greenhouse. With the help of the company Growing Spaces that makes kits for that very thing, Dad erected his greenhouse (shown here in March) and now grows green all year round. Check out the process and results in the slideshow at the link.

Via Treehugger

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Bluetooth Handsfree Kit with Solar Charging


This is more than your average Bluetooth handsfree Speaker/Mic Kit. The Boyo VTB60 comes with visor clip, windshield and suction mount and is gets its power by solar charging.

Via Boyo Solar Speaker/Mic

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 3, 2009

Volta Solar Powered Watches


Watchmakers Nixon has created the Volta rechargeable, solar powered watch. Each has a semi-transparent dial to catch the sunlight and, in case of a gloomy day, can recharge by flourescent or other inside lighting. The Volta's case is made with stainless steel and its band is either polyurethane or imported double-sided leather. Voltas are available in several variations for both sexes and retail for about $250.00, depending on band selection or where you shop.

Via Nixon

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Auto Workers Retrain for Solar Installation


It would seem that many laid-off auto workers are learning to install and maintain solar panels. Sixty five students at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Michigan are attending as part of a program designed for retraining them. The classes are paid for by the state for those that are unemployed or earn less than $40,000 a year. Sadly, many of the jobs will bring in limited wages as they are not unionized as those for auto workers are/were.

Via Inquirer

Sheila Franklin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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