February 26, 2010
Solar Kit Purifies Water and Cooks
Easybake Ovens have come a long way. With this Solar Science Kit, you can purify water or cook with the sun's energy and foiled cardboard. All parts are included as well as easy to follow instructions.
Via DIY Solar Kits
February 26, 2010
Site O' the Week - Design Your Genesis Home Online
Thinking of building a house and want it to be green? The GO House by Genesis Homes is a prefab that can be built in about 90 days and will fit in almost anywhere. Those who are interested can configure plans online for a base floor plan as well as other floor options and garage design. Genesis, this week's SOW, sends the price of the module and estimates site costs for prospective customers.
Via Genesis Homes
February 25, 2010
Solar Puma Phone for Phitness Phreaks
Puma (yes, the sneakers and clothing Puma) collaborated with the technology firm Sagem and the Puma Phone was born. It made its debut at the recent Mobile World Congress and is packed with a pedometer, compass, GPS tracker and stopwatch. Other features include a 2.8" 240 × 320 touchscreen, a 3.2 megapixel cam with LED flash, a second VGA camera in the front (for video calls,) and USB/Bluetooth/HSPA connectivity. And let us not forget the solar charger. It looks like this one will hit Europe first.
Via Puma Phone
February 25, 2010
CIT Develops Nanorod Solar Cells
The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena is using an existing technique that assembles nanowires on a surface to develop silicon nanorod solar cells that can be assembled in a "carpet" and embedded in a transparent polymer. The flexible cells use only about 1% of the material needed. Future applications would be inexpensive solar panels and clothing.
February 24, 2010
PowerFilm Rollable Solar Charger
Originally intended for military use, the PowerFilm Rollable Solar Charger can be unrolled to soak up the sun in the day and charge your cell phone, GPS device or other small electronics. Roll back up for travel. The 11.5 x 21" charger has a 5W, 15.4V, 0.3A power output and is available for $99.95.
Experts Predict Rise in Solar Market
Roger Efird, chairman of the Solar Energy Industries Association and Managing Director for Suntech America, has predicted that the US solar market will double this year. His reasoning is that it has become affordable for middle class families and believes that installed capacity could reach 1GW in 2010.
CEO of Acro Energy Technologies Harry Fleming claims that the average cost of a 5 kilowatt power system in California has fallen $6,000 in the past year and a half, and should drop another three by the end of the year with incentives. Acro is adding to the savings by offering 4 months of solar electricity free if you sign with them before March 1.
Via Technology Review
February 23, 2010
Solar Egg Recharges in Natural Lighting
The Solar Egg from XPAL can charge even in "medium levels of natural light." Four hours should give it a 90% charge for your small electronics. It can be attached to backpack, jacket or suitcase so that you can always have that back-up with you. No price has been set on the oval charger that is due out next month.
Via Geeky Gadgets
GDF Suez to Erect Plant in So. France
GDF Suez will be building France's largest photovoltaic solar power plant to date. It will be erected in the southeast Curbans with 145,000 photovoltaic panels over 150 acres. When finished, it should generate 43.5 million kilowatt hours energy yearly, the equivalent of that used by 14,500 houses, and remove 120,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. The plant should be up and running by the fall of 2011.
Via GDF Suez
February 22, 2010
Fab-Homes Offers Passive Housing
The company Fab-Homes is offering pre-designed passive houses for North America. Based in Vancouver, the homes use about 90% less energy and cost about $155.00 a square ft. Building options include solar photovoltaics, solar hot water panels, green roof gardens and a heat recovery system. In addition to offering prefabs, town homes and multifamily models will also be available.
EPA Lists Energy Star Leaders
We extol the virtues of going solar, but do you ever stop to think about what impact that has in saving money and energy? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a list of 2009 Energy Star Leaders. There were 58 organizations listed that saved more than $48 million total, 4 times the amount of the previous year. That equaled out to reducing emissions by 220,000 metric tons, equal to usage by 39,000 homes.
Most of the Energy Star Leaders were school districts, but there were others on the list as well, including Stop & Shop in Massachusetts and NY Presbyterian Hospital. To qualify, an organization must have reduced their energy use by 10%. There are now more than 100 organizations that have joined the list.
February 19, 2010
Solar Charger Compatible With 11 Batteries
This Solar Charger works with 11 different NiCd, NiMH and GUM (Prismatic) battery sizes, two at a time. The top lid and bottom stand adjust for the best exposure and the device has a blocking diode to prevent discharge. A built in meter displays the charge strength, current output and amount of charge.
Via Solar Chargers
Learn PV Design, Make Money
Need a new career but don't want it in the field of nursing or court reporting? The Solar Living Institute in California has teamed with Sify Technologies and is offering "PV (photovoltaic) Design and Installation Training," online. The class includes grid and off grid systems, installation and safety. The 6 week course will set you back $795.00.
Via Solar Living
February 18, 2010
Neon Green Designer Back-up Packs
Neon Green's Soular Powers Back-Up Packs look designer, cost designer but are eco-friendly with built-in solar panels. The series includes the Centurian that will hold a laptop, the Capsoul, that can be carried on shoulder or by hand and the Piggy Back that can attach to another backpack and turn it solar.
Via Gone On Green
CA Funds for Solar Water Heating
California once more takes center stage in becoming green by their Public Utilities Commission offering a $350 million rebate program coupled with a 30% Federal tax credit for those who install solar hot water heaters. The CPUC is hoping for a total of 300,000 installations over the next 8 years that will save 6 million cubic feet of natural gas and 3 million kilowatt hours of electricity yearly. The average household rebate should be about $1,500 with larger ones for businesses and multi-family buildings.
U of M Builds Tiny Solar-Powered Sensor
A team from the University of Michigan has developed a minute solar-powered sensor that provides almost continuous energy. Small as it is at 2.5 x 3.5 x 1mm, it has an ARM Cortex-M3 processor, solar cells and battery. With a low power microcontroller, it uses 2,000 times less energy in sleep mode than current ones. The sensor spends most of its time in that mode and wakes up long enough to take measurements. Planned for biomedical implants and monitoring buildings, its average power consumption claim is less than 1 nanowatt.
February 17, 2010
Wild Grass Brings Spring to Winter
With the nasty snow that has fallen lately, you can cheer up that dead lawn with solar Wild Grass. The 3 1 ft. tall LED lights have a 0.2 solar panel and a 500mAh built-in AA battery. Eight hours in the sun will provide 6 hours of automatic light at night. Choose between steady or flashing modes for the holidays.
Via Wild Grass
February 16, 2010
Flexible Ecovolt Lamp Fits Anywhere
Designed by Kim Joonhyun, Ecovolt is a clever lamp that attaches to a window and stores up enough energy to light up the night. Because it is made of flexible material, it can be placed almost anywhere and hung upright, rolled or attached to something. The lamp consists of a light panel in front, a solar collector in back and silicon to connect the two. The attached remote controls power and brightness.
Eco-Cybernetic City is Alive!
The Eco-Cybernetic City, designed by Orlando De Urrutia, has been dubbed an "alive machine." The edifice consists of 2 towers with aerogenerators that control air flow for creating wind energy. It also has photovoltaic lattices for solar energy and a multimedia LED facade that changes with the atmosphere. Because there are bio-climatic panels that make up the skin, vegetation can grow and provide air purifying.
Via Orlando De Urritia
February 15, 2010
IllumiCharger Hangs Out on Walls
Greenwaves has entered the Greener Gadgets Competition with their IllumiCharger wall outlet. The device can recharge any electronic device that supports USB charging. Because it has 2 inputs it can serve double duty. The chargers will even ship green in cornstarch plastic and recycled cardboard.
Solar Decathlon Features International Designs
The Solar Decathlon Europe 2010 will take place in Madrid this June and will feature housing from 20 universities in America, Europe and Asia. While the teams take two years to develop their designs, they then assemble them in the Solar Village. Hit the link to see other ideas like the Sunflower from Tianjin University (TUC) that utilizes the sun's movement to gather energy and is based on China's construction philosophy, harmony between humans, nature and housing.
Via Solar Decatholon Europe
February 12, 2010
Solar Kit Has 150 Things to Do
The Tree of Knowledge Solar Power Kit comes with 150 experiments. Build a generator, furnace, mobile, crane, motor and more. The kit, recommended for those over the age of ten, includes instructions for playing with color optics, stroboscopes and thermodynamics.
Via Tree of Knowledge
Solar Snob SOW: Suntech Power
The Chinese company Suntech Power Holdings has become the first company to come to the US and employ 70 local residents in Goodyear, Arizona. The plan is to use its solar electricity manufacturing technologies and equipment in cooperation with Arizona State University. The plant will produce 30MW power with a future expansion planned at 120MW. It will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and costs since solar panels will not need to be shipped in from overseas. We applaud the efforts and name Suntech our Site 'O the Week for not only building solar items but using same for the plant's power.
February 11, 2010
Eco Freezer Also Provides Lighting
Industrial designer Ruben Iglesias is thinking picnic and camping with his Eco Freezer. The hamper-sized device has two photocells/LED lamps powered by solar energy. They can be used for power or illumination. When the feasting is complete, the lamps can provide light in three modes, on, SOS and flicker. One lamp puts it into "low mode" while using both keep it in "high mode."
Power Flowers Artsy Wind Turbines
Pennsylvania Artist David Edwards has created 14 ft. tall sculptures with his inspiration coming from sunflower petals. The Power Flowers are wind turbines with solar panel-covered blades. The energy goes into both a built-in battery and LED bulbs, and can power up laptops, cell phones and other electronic devices. A 6 ft. replica was displayed at a recent EcoFest, a Fair in the Park in Shadyside and summer workshops from Pittsburgh's Parks and Recreation Department. Some of the smaller versions may be sold at a price of $8,000 - $10,000.
Via Pittsburgh Live
February 10, 2010
Texan HS Students Build Solar Tractor
Students at Bonham ISD High School, in Bonham, Texas are converting a donated tractor to run on solar power. Its electric batteries will run with the help of a solar array or can be plugged in on overcast days. Once the E-Tractor is complete, it will be used in a driving certification/safety course. We bet it will be involved in several joyrides as well.
Casio G-Shock Solar Watch - Tick Tock Until 2039
Casio has been making watches almost forever and often caters to the sporty type. The G-Shock G2300B-1V is solar powered either in sun or inside light. Aside from its timely duties, it displays year/month/date/day up to the year 2039 on its backlit LED, has a stopwatch and world time for 29 zones. There are four different alarms and it has water resistance up to 660 feet.
Via Casio G-Shock Solar Watches
February 9, 2010
Thomas Clark Recycles to Create Solar Heaters
Cabinet maker Thomas Clark was inspired by high gas prices and his work being cut to part time to start his own business. He builds solar air heaters from aluminum cans and discarded 2 x 4 plywood sheets. The devices circulate indoor air through the pop cans that are painted black and heated by the sun. So far, he has sold about 25 of the 2000 BTU units for $150 each on eBay.
HGTV Green Home 2010 Giveaway
Every year, HGTV gives away a green home and this year it is located in Plymouth, Mass. It is being constructed with sustainable, green materials and will have a solar roof, rainwater collection, Smart Sun efficient windows and soy-based spray foam insulation. The contest ends in April.
February 8, 2010
Musician Uses Only Solar Energy for Recording
Musician Jack Johnson and his band are currently recording new tunes in the Mango Tree Studio in Hawaii and plans to do so using only solar energy. He will play the results at the annual Kokua Festival that will occur April 23-24 in Honolulu. Taj Mahal, Ziggy Marley and local acts will also participate Earth Day weekend. All of the proceeds go to his and his wife's Kokua Hawaii Foundation that promotes environmental education.
Qatar's Eco-Friendly Convention Center
The Qatar National Convention Center is going up. The 177,000 sq. meter QNCC has 3,600 sq. meters of solar panels on its roof to supply about 12% of the power. Also included is LED lighting and wireless Internet access to cut down on paper usage. The center should be completed next year and will be able to house conventions, exhibitions, gala events, concerts, weddings and banquets.
Via Qatar Convention Center
February 5, 2010
Get Down with the GoGroove Solar Jukebox
GoGroove's Solar JukeBox is compatible with any device with a 3.5mm jack, i.e. cell phone, e-reader or MP3 player. While it plays your fave tunes, it charges three different ways. It takes about 5 - 10 hrs. using solar power, 2 - 3 hrs. by AC or put it in your USB port. An LED light lets you know amount of charge and 5 tips come with the device, including those for the iPhone 3(G) and iPod touch/nano/classic.
Gary Neville's Rural Solar Home
Make Architects will be designing a flower-shaped home for Manchester United player Gary Neville. Built mostly underground, each petal is a room that meet in a central kitchen area. The £8m Lancashire home will be using solar panels, a ground-source heat pump and wind turbine. Any excess energy will go back to the national grid. If all goes according to plans, the construction will commence later this year.
February 4, 2010
P-Flip Versatile Charger
Dexim's P-Flip is portable, foldable and rechargeable with solar panels and a 2000mAh Lithium Polymer battery. It can be used both vertically and horizontally (hence the name) with an iPhone 3G/3GS. After a full charge, you can get up to 8 hrs. talk time, 15 hrs. of gaming/video or 60 hrs. of tunes. The P-Flip is now available for $79.90.
Saudi Arabia to Solarize Desalination Plants
Saudi Arabia has plans to build several solar-powered desalination plants. Using nanotechnology developed by the King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology (KACST), the plants will bring down the current cost of electricity by 40%. The first is to be built in Al-Khafji and will be able to supply with a 30,000 cubic meters of drinking water to about 100,000 people.
Via Arab News
February 3, 2010
Intel Adds Solar Power to Facilities
Intel is planning to add solar power to 8 of their facilities in the US. To be completed in the next 7 months, they will collectively supply about 2.5MW energy making them some of the largest found in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Oregon. In addition, the company plans to increase renewable energy credits by 10% to to 1.43 billion KWh reduce their carbon footprint.
Solio Universal Hybrid Charger
Solio's Universal Hybrid Charger works with most cell phones, MP3 players and GPS devices. One hour of sun gives 14 minutes of talk time or 40 minutes of tunes. Made of rugged plastic, it is perfect for traveling and can also be charged via USB.
Via Solio Chargers
February 2, 2010
ICARE Car Travels to Promote Alternative Power
Mark Muller, a Swiss engineer involved in the ICARE project, has designed a car that will run around the planet with only solar and wind power as its energy source. Beginning in May, the car will travel to 30 countries to study CO2 compensation initiatives. The non-profit org is also looking for sponsors to buy a solar cell or a piece of asphalt.
Ted Turner Reinvests in Solar Power
Ted Turner has returned to the solar power business by teaming up with Atlanta Based Southern Utility Co. They plan to start by building solar farms in Arizona and California where there are plenty of incentives to build green. In 2007, he sold his own solar developer Turner Renewable Energy for $34.4 million.
Via Greentech Media
February 1, 2010
Synthetic Solar Cells Grown on Tobacco
You may be able to put this in your pipe but don't smoke it. A team at UC Berkeley have found a way to grow synthetic photovoltaic and photochemical cells on tobacco plants. They are then extracted, dissolved in a solution and sprayed onto a substrate with the result being solar cells. They may be not be as efficient as silicon but they are biodegradable.
The Very Green 2010 Winter Olympics
When the 2010 Winter Olympics lands in Vancouver, a very green Olympic Village will be there to greet it. Designed to meet LEED standards, each building will have a green roof and, although solar energy was deemed too expensive, solar hot water panels will be used for heating and cooling. Harvested rainwater will irrigate the roof and landscape.
Via Vancouver Olympics