Canada's Solar Ship may not replace the Goodyear Blimp, but it can fly after being filled with helium. Solar panels, like on the the Impulse, or onboard batteries car power it up. More importantly, if it had a leak and was air-filled only, it could still land safely. A 33 ft. prototype has already been tested and the company sees the airship as an aid for disaster relief, transferring medical supplies and environmental monitoring. We're thinking that the military would have limited usage, but you never know.
There are many solar chargers on the market today but this is the first we have seen with bragging rights. Changers Starter Kit includes a "Kalhuohfummi" battery and "Maroshi" solar module and can be attached to any window or placed on a sunny space. It can generate up to 4W per hour to keep your USB devices going after a 4 hour charge. With free software, users can then upload how much power they generated on the company's online energy marketplace. You get rewarded with credits for green products for every watt you save. The kit is priced at $149.00 and is available for pre-order now. Shipping date is November 15.
The Solio Bolt is for those who are constantly on the move and often forget to charge electronic devices like smartphones, eReaders, cameras, GPS units and MP3 players. The company claims that families in Kenya power their entire home with one. Using an included USB charging cable, it will hold a charge for up to a year with its 2000mAh rechargeable/replaceable battery and can handle at least two devices at a time. You can also charge it via the sun or AC adapter (sold separately) and the solar panels rotate for ease of usage.
It's nice in this hectic day and age to find someone like Simon Dale, a throwback to the 70's attitude of staying real, mellowing out and living in harmony with the planet with a Hobbitish home. Not a skilled architect or builder, he, his dad-in-law and friends and passersby created this house in West Wales for about £3,000 (~$4621.00,) in less than 1,500 hours.
Built with local, natural materials like scrap wood, stone, straw and mud, there is a woodburner for heating, a skylight for natural lighting, solar panels for power and a compost toilet. For things like windows, wiring, etc., he says "anything you could possibly want is in a rubbish pile somewhere."
The best is yet to come. Dale is now building his second eco-house as part of a project in Wales backed by the Lammas Organization, who are struggling to build an eco-village despite the hassle of paperwork and proper permits. (Bummer, man.) You can give them a donation or, even better, volunteer your time and energy into assisting the communal project. Hang on Simon, we're comin' to Wales.
After several years of working on her pet project, French designer Vivien Muller has perfected her Electree with 27 solar panels for charging electronic devices. Energy is stored in a battery in the base and once it reaches full charge it feeds through a USB port. Photosynthesis is the inspiration behind the solar bonsai tree that comes with a $370.00 price tag.