This set of 3 Jack-O-Lanterns will make a great decorative statement this Halloween and has the bonus of being solar powered. At a size of 4 3/8 x 4 ¼", they are made of cold cast ceramic and are connected with a 38" cord that resembles a vine with fabric leaves.
A new documentary will be premiering on PBS' "Independent Lens" on November 5. "Solar Mamas" tells a story about India's Barefoot College, a place for learning alternative careers for rural men and women. The program documents Rafea, a Jordanian mom who takes up solar engineering. We plan to watch it and hope that the school can continue its valiant efforts. For more information, you can hit the PBS link and find out about the Barefoot College here.
Solar energy is taking an interesting new twist in the shape of a cone with V3Solar's Spin Cell. Instead of harvesting only the spillover of electrons, the V3 releases them as it rotates, resulting in generating over twenty times more electricity than a flat panel with the same area. You can visit their site to see exactly how the process works. The good news is that the company has teamed with Nectar Design to complete their design and will soon supply 800,000 units for a solar farm in Australia. V3Solar should have their Spin Cells available to the public in 2013.
Those needing a new backpack can take advantage of one that does more than just tote books and electronic devices. The waterproof SOLARBAK Backpack comes with a 3.6w, 5000 mAh Lithium Ion battery and a lightweight, removable solar panel. Use it to charge most mobile devices when going to school, camping or just hanging out. Included are adapters and a 2 liter water bladder with drinking tube.
While the Solar Decathlon 2011 wrapped up in September in Washington, D.C., the next one hits Orange County Great Park, Irvine, CA from Oct. 3 - 10, 2013. This biennial competition allows 112 college teams to create cost effective, energy efficient homes. If you live in the area or plan to visit you can tour the homes and pick up some do-it-yourself tips.
Europe and China also have their own decathlons.The image is last year's overall winner from the University of Maryland.