December 31, 2009
Ewwww! There Goes a Solar Cockroach
Who is going to clean up all the mess from your holiday feasting? Consider a Solar Cockroach to get behind the refrigerator, under the table and behind the couch, if there is some sun. At a size of 40 x 19 x 19mm, the nasty insect will set you back $15.00.
Via gadget 4 all
December 31, 2009
Spring Leaf Begins Solar Community
Spring Leaf has completed its model home in North Boulder, Colorado. Designed by George Watt, it has a 9.9kW grid tied to its solar PV system, a geothermal system, a heat recovery ventilator, spray foam insulation and enough efficiency to make it LEED Platinum. When all of the homes are built, the community will consist of 6 townhomes about 2,800 sq. ft. and 6 single family homes between 2,300 - 4,000 square feet.
Via Spring Leaf
December 30, 2009
Roof Tiles Incorporate Solar Panels
SRS Energy has cleverly designed solar panels that can be integrated into the roof tiles, as opposed to having flat tiles over an existing roof. Made of a lightweight, recyclable plastic, the Solé Power Tile is molded with a solar cell. Because they are linked together, they can continue to work even if an individual one stops. So if you were thinking of re-roofing this spring, consider this aesthetically pleasing alternative that can also save you some bucks.
Via SRS Energy
December 30, 2009
Worldwide Solar Watch
Watches don't get any more elite than this solar one that updates up to 6 times a day from radio clocks in the US, UK, Germany, China and Japan. Cells located in the face convert the sun's rays into power for the built-in battery that will last up to seven months on a full charge! It automatically adjusts for Daylight Savings Time and also features a stopwatch, 4 alarms and countdown timer. Water resistant, the Worldwide Solar Watch will set you back $159.95.
Via Hammacher Schlemmer
December 29, 2009
Road Printer Runs on Solar Power
The Road Printer, designed by Radhika Seth, can be pre-programmed to print Stop, Bus, U turn or other signs directly onto a road surface. Powered by a solar panel on its top, its paint cartridge moves from side to side between its wheels and sprays one of its templates. The cartridge is located in the back to make it easily removable for refilling.
The Mews Green Community
RLG Properties is building a single family development of 23 homes with eco-efficiency. Located in Atwater Village, California and designed by Corsini + Stark, each home in The Mews has 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths and an open floor plan with prices beginning at $599,000. Green features include a solar power system, clerestory windows, bamboo flooring and energy efficient appliances.
Via The Green Mews
December 28, 2009
Sandia Develops Mini-Solar Cells
Sandia National Laboratory has developed tiny photovoltaic cells. Each is about 10 times thinner than conventional cells and can be integrated into clothing, turning its wearer into a mini-charger. The glitter-sized cells are 14-20 micrometers thick which is 10 times thinner than existing 6 X 6" solar modules. The team claims that they provide better performance, have a lower cost and are more efficient than those currently used.
Arctic Mobile Unit Runs on Solar Power and Generator
2-B-2 Architecture's Andrey Bondarenko designed a prefabricated arctic mobile unit to help keep researchers in cold climates stay warm. Running on a solar battery and 5 kilowatt generator, it can handle winds of up to 50 mph and the heat lasts for 15 days. With a steel frame, carbon panels and polyethylene membranes for insulation, the small building consists of a modular work/rest area, kitchen and bathroom. Its compact 2000 x 1600 x 2300 mm size makes it simple for transporting.
December 25, 2009
eXplorer Portable Charger
The portable Powermonkey eXplorer and solar slave is compatible with most cell phones, iPods, MP 3 and 4 players, portable game consoles and PDA. It comes with several adapters and doesn't need full sunlight to charge. Fold up when not in use and carry it with you on all your business or pleasure trips.
Via Powermonkey eXplorer Charger
Site O' The Week - Lighting Africa
Lighting Africa, our SOW this week, is part of the World Bank Group (WBG) initiative that is trying to bring modern lighting to almost 1.6 billion people (almost a third of the population) without electricity. Working with other groups helps them in their quest.
For example, if you or someone you know has an off-grid lighting product, Tanzania's Rural Energy Agency is offering grants of up to $100,000, but you must apply by December 31, 2009.
Via Lighting Africa
December 24, 2009
Noon Outs New Solar Bag
Noon recently added a new solar bag to their eco-friendly line of designer products. The Linden is made of naturally dyed organic hemp and leather that is metal and chemical process free. The solar cell needs about a 6 - 8 hour sun bath to charge your small electronics. Because each is individually made, it comes with a designer price of $433.00. Noon also has other solar bags available.
Spain PSI Bus Stop Part of CCC
The Copenhagen UN Climate Change Conference this month included a "Future City" with 12 participants proposals that are already in their areas. One of these is Spain's student designed PSI bus stop that is powered by the sun, needs no connection to a power grid and is 100% recyclable. Best of all, it doesn't produce any emission and only consumes 70 Wh/d. It has an E-ink display that gives a reading of travel information.
December 23, 2009
First Solar Reaches 1GW Module Production
First Solar has announced that it is the first PV company to reach 1GW of modules produced in a single year. This translates into power for 145,000 homes. The company's president Bruce Sohn said in a press release, "This is proof that the solar industry can achieve the manufacturing scale necessary to fight climate change."
Via First Solar
Eitech Kit Makes Solar Fliers
Keep your kids/spouse/partner amused for hours with this Eitech solar powered Metal Building Kit. There are over 188 parts for building an airplane or helicopter, with all tools included. Made in Germany, it provides illustrated instructions to help you in your efforts. Best of all, after construction, it actually performs.
December 22, 2009
Sikat Car Built to Teach Filipinos About Solar Energy
Sikat is the Philippines Solar Car Society's second car, the next generation of the Sinag, that was designed for 2007 World Solar Car Challenge in Australia. Made by a team of 33 from De La Salle University, the new vehicle weighs 100kg less than its predecessor and has a top speed of 112 kph. Its purpose will be to alert Filipinos to the pluses of solar energy.
Via Dailly Mirror
DOE Announces Climate REDI at CCC
During the recent Copenhagen Climate Conference, the DOE announced the launch of the Renewables and Efficiency Deployment Initiative (Climate REDI,) its purpose to promote the use of renewable and efficient energy products. This would not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions but make life better for developing nations. Part of the program that will be implemented in the next 5 years is combining solar panels and LED lamps to replace those that run on kerosene.
December 21, 2009
China Completes Conference Center
Because the 4th World Solar Cities Conference being held in Dezhou, China next year, an 807,293 sq. ft. center was erected. It includes research facilities, meeting and training rooms, exhibition centers and a hotel to house everyone. Designed in a sundial shape, the building features 50,000 sq. ft. of solar panels and is said to be 30% more efficient than the country's current standard.
Solar Powered Laptop for Toddlers
Forget regular batteries (except for backup) with this Solar Powered Laptop from WinFun. Geared for kids aged 3 and older, it teaches letters, numbers, and shapes. It has a 10 note musical keyboard and your toddler can play several different games. Remember to tell him/her to lean towards the light. Two AA rechargeable batteries come with the laptop but you will have to provide backup batteries on cloudy days.
Via WinFun Solar Powered Laptop
December 18, 2009
Juice Bags Made of Recycled Plastic Charge by Solar
Not only do ES Series Juice Bags charge your cell phone, GPS unit, MP3 player or other small electronics, they are made of 8 recycled 2 liter bottles. Each has 6.3W, 16.6V and 0.325 amps of power and are removable for remote usage.
Via Juice Bags
Site O' the Week: RAYvolution
RAYvolution has launched new chargers that come in different colors with connection tips to charge your cell phone, MP3 player or other small gadgets at a price of $39.95. While they say "get off the grid and into the sunshine," we say their efforts and positive spirit exuding from their site earns them our SOW this week.
December 17, 2009
LoyaltyOne Largest Canadian Solar System
The largest rooftop solar system in Canada is now located at the LoyaltyOne Building that runs the Air Miles rewards program. With 147 kilowatts of output on the roof and 18kW on the carport from its 800 panels, it can power the entire 50,000 sq. ft. building. Other features include solar tubes for natural light flow, solar hot water heaters, and recycled materials used in construction.
Via Environmental Leader
Rural Concept Car Doubles Energy Savings
Matt Bradbury's Rural Concept car one ups zero emission electric cars by adding a hybrid system that runs on both electricity and hydrogen fuel cells. The vehicle has a carbon fiber chassis and solar panels that can be rotated individually or together for more sun. The panels provide power into the electric motors.
December 16, 2009
Cité du Design Brings Knowledge to France
The 'Cité du Design' ('Centre International du Design') was created by Berlin and Paris based LIN and is meant to be used by the entire planet by concentrating on communication, research and education. Located in Saint-Etienne, France, the solar powered structure took about $61 million to build.
Decorate with Solar Light Ring
Norwood's solar powered Light Ring has an LED light with three rotating red, green and blue star bursts. It comes with its own photocell and battery, turns on automatically at dusk and will last up to 8 hours on a charge. Not to mention what it will do to your head after a long night of partying.
Via Solar Light Ring
December 15, 2009
Sanyo Debuts Solar Electric Vehicle
Sanyo introduced its latest green idea, the Solar Electric Vehicle. Debuting at the Eco Products 2009 International Exhibition at Tokyo Big Sight last week, it is powered by solar panels and lithium ion batteries. It uses a 16 hour solar charge to get it on its way or 8 hours via 100V AC.
World Bank To Fund Solar Projects
The World Bank has approved 5.5 billion dollars to be invested in solar energy products in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. Their Clean Technology Fund has already approved 750 million dollars and they believe that further financing will help the planet overall. They will be constructing 11 solar power plants over the next 3 to 5 years.
December 14, 2009
Flexio Radio Costs Less
Industrial designers Wu Kun-chia, Wang Shih-ju, Chen Ming-daw and Liou Chang-ho have designed a solar-powered portable radio that is both inexpensive and flexible. The Flexio comes in single channels so you get several in a package and a solar cell keeps it charged.
Solar Impulse Takes Off
The Solar Impulse HB-SIA made its maiden flight last week from Dubendorf Airfield, near Zurich, Switzerland. Made to fly day and night with no need for fuel, 4 electric props and a bank of batteries powered the prototype aircraft. It traveled a meter off the ground and successfully landed after making it 350 meters (1,148 feet.) The company is looking forward to more flights this spring.
Via Solar Impulse
December 11, 2009
Designers Edge Solar Shed Light
The Designers Edge Solar Shed Light is also good for those places in the back yard where the raccoons and other creatures of the night tend to frequent. It has 10 rechargeable super bright LEDs that can supply up to 100,000 hrs. of light, two power settings and can be wall or pole mounted up to 20 feet away from the fixture. A 20 ft. extension cord is included in the package.
Via Solar Shed Lighting
Site O' the Week: Villages at Heritage Solar Community
Comstock Homes, our SOW, has created an entire solar-powered community that is said to be the largest on the planet. The Villages at Heritage Springs is located in Santa Fe Springs, California, and will have a total of 384 homes when completed. Priced between $385,000 - $457,000 for a townhome or $485,000 - $576,000 for a single family unit, each has solar roof tiles that should reduce energy bills by up to 60%. The residences also have dual pane windows, tankless water heaters, energy efficient lighting and high-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems.
Via Villages at Santa Fe Springs
December 10, 2009
London Bus Shelter Powered by the Sun
Tim Wykeham designed this London Bus Shelter with a PA system to announce location and wait time, and lighting that is powered by a solar collection system located on the roof. Each section of 2 aluminum sub-frames are 1000mm long and connect with an aluminum skin.
Via Solar Feeds
Ponsold Designer SunnyBag Launched
A new line of shoulder bags has been launched by the Austrian company Ponsold. The SunnyBag is available for now in the Buisiness Pro model that is equipped with a 1600mAh Li-Ion battery pack, 2 flexible solar panels with 3W of power output and connectors. There is room enough for a laptop or notebook up to 15.4". Available in dark brown or black, you can get yours for $299.00 at their online shop.
Via Sun Bag Shop
December 9, 2009
Mc Type 2 Motorcycle - Vroom, Solar Style
Keegan McClain's entry into the Michelin Challenge Design 2010 is the Mc Type 2 motorcycle. The vehicle can keep up with the big boys on the highway and runs on 148 3.3V lithium-ion cells that are located at the base of the frame. The batteries can be recharged by solar energy or a 110V outlet on those overcast days.
Via Keegan McClain
Solar Powered Snowman Brightens the Holidays
If you are in the midst of decorating your house for the holidays, consider the 7" Solar Snowman. It comes on an adjustable post with a stake for installation and its rechargeable battery is included.
Via Solar Powered Snowman
December 8, 2009
Endless Warm - More Than Basic Heat
Germany's Yiran Qian created the "Endless Warm" combination of knitted hat and gloves. With built in solar panels shaped like snow flakes, they are definitely more attractive than the usual wearables. The set was a finalist in DesignBoom's Greenlife contest.
Via Design Boom
Solar Tree House Built at Camp Twin Lakes
A wheelchair accessible tree house has been built at Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge, Georgia. The building houses 1.4 kW solar arrays that power the ceiling fans and misting system, a 1,700 sq. ft. roof garden and domed skylights.
Via Jetson Green
December 7, 2009
UNFCCC Held This Week
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change kicks off this week in Copenhagen, with President Obama making an appearance towards the end of it. The suggested solutions include the usage of more solar power including China placing 17,000 solar cookers in the northwest, a solar water heating program in Tunesia and a solar thermal power plant in Abu Dhabi. A global meeting of the minds can be a good thing.
OS +ECO Solar Clock and Weather Station
Oregon Scientific has two new weather stations that come with detachable solar panels in additon to their original. Both the +ECO Solar Clock and Weather Station come with built-in alarms, graphical icons, calendar and display with both indoors and outdoor temperatures.
Via Oregon Scientific Solar
December 4, 2009
Malibu Four Light Kit
No wimpy lighting for you, eh? Then the Malibu Metal Bollard Four Light Kit is a good choice for your outer walkway or back yard. Each lamp comes with 2 LED lights and 3 NiMH AA batteries. The remote panel charges by day to create up to 10 hours of light by night. The kit includes all fixtures and 20 ft. power leads.
Via Malibu Metal Bollard Four Light Kit
Site O' the Week: Toyota's Literally Greener Plant
With all the recent problems that Toyota has had with its recalls, it's nice to report something positive that has come out of the company. They have developed 2 new derivatives of plants at the factory that develops the Prius hybrid in Japan. The cherry sage absorbs nitrogen oxides while the new gardenia creates water vapor. The plant also has roof mounted solar panels, interior lighting with reflective solar tubes and photocatalytic paint on exterior walls. The plant has reduced CO2 emissions by 55% since 1990 and earns our SOW this week.
December 3, 2009
C3 Hotel Cube Designed For Travel
Jianbo Huang and Ting Zhao designed the C3 Hotel Cube that only has two rooms. With solar power as its source of electricity, the modernistic trailer is designed with some interesting ideas on sewer storage, semi-open space for claustrophobics and electronically controlled colored glass that can adjust in transparency.
DIY Solar Miniball
We know that you have made countless clever contraptions with your solar kit and are looking for something new. Jérôme Demers created this wanna-be Miniball as part of the Solarbotics' BEAM robot project. Follow along with the instructions and you will have your own in about 2 hours. While he uses an 80mm Transparent Plastic Sphere, we expect a less expensive hamster ball will do the trick.
December 2, 2009
Solar Ball Sits Itself Almost Anywhere
Idea Label's Solar Ball LED light has the unique distinction of being placed on a tripod, making it easy to place where most of the sunlight exists. With 2 - 5 hours of charge, an internal sensor triggers the light to go on at dusk for up to 8 hours. The 145 × 300 × 145mm lamp is waterproof and comes in green, clear, pink or orange at a price of £17.50 (~$29.00.)
Via Design Museum
Solar Engine Lives in Wine Glass
Szymon Klimek has filled an entire gallery with mechanical models and art. Included is a small solar-powered brass engine model that lives inside a wine glass. The panel is connected to the motor and replicates a real steam engine. Check out the rest of his collection on his website.
Via Szymon Klimek
December 1, 2009
AUO Solar Frisbee Roof
Taiwan's AU Optomics Corporation created a "Solar Frisbee Roof" for the Taipei European School's playground equipment. The canopy is made with 32 21W photovoltaic modules that provide shade, shelter and a windbreak in bad weather and can also generate 6,205 kWh annually, which results in an estimated reduction of 3.95 tons of carbon emissions.
Curve Hydroponic Micro-Farm
Inka Biospheric Systems has all kinds of creative ideas. One of their latest is the Curve, a vertical micro-farm with a hydroponic grow structure and a fish tank. Both are powered by wind turbines while solar panels provide energy for cleaning and aerating. The "Bio-Quilt" and micro-organisms work as a cleaner for the fish while the fish provide the nutrients for the plants.