Solar Stuff

April 30, 2012

Solar Butterflies and Frogs


Place this clear box in a sunny window and its solar Floating Butterfly will hover over the center flower. What a great way to cheer up an invalid or a buddy at work. If you prefer your butterflies free-flying, the Monarch can be mounted or placed on a stand and will show off its 4 3/4" wing span.


This Solar Amphibious Flower and his green leaves will bounce around when struck by the sun and you can watch this Frog swing on a sunny day.

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September 19, 2011

Clarity Provides Solar System Efficiency


It is only a logical conclusion that as solar usage becomes more widespread, companies will crop up to help you maintain them at their best. Such is the idea behind Solar Power Technologies. Their Clarity monitoring system promises to keep yours at its peak by providing enhanced efficiency, maximum performance and a possible boost in energy. Compatible with most systems already in place, their "Intelligent Array" keeps working and provides continued monitoring should long range or temporary problems occur.

(Thanks, Ray)

Via Solar Power Tech

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August 23, 2010

Cheerful Solar Flower


Reminiscent of those battery operated posies, this Solar Dancing Flower can be placed on your desk top, window sill or car's dashboard. When the sun shines, the flower moves to the light and should cheer up any child, shut-in, teacher, co-worker or driver stuck in traffic.

Via Solar Flowers

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March 3, 2010

Sanups Monitors Solar Power Without Humans


Sanyo's Denki Sanups PV Monitor displays quantity of power generated and a trend graph at large solar power generation stations. If there are any problems, an email is automatically sent and if personnel send a query, it will answer in turn. This eliminates the need for humans, at least on one end.

Via Fareast Gizmos

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February 19, 2010

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

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February 18, 2010

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.

Via Energyboom

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January 4, 2010

Radish Creates Paperless Room Reservations

Google engineer Aaron Spangler took advantage of the company's 20% project that allowed him to spend a fifth of his time on his own. Noticing that there were lots of paper room reservations placed on conference room doors, he devised the Radish project. The prototype has radio transmitters that send and receive data wirelessly and is powered by solar panels, even if only office light is available. This will save the company about 6 reams of paper a day. Spangler says that his objective is equip all the conference rooms with Radishes.

Via Google

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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.

Via Yanko

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November 21, 2009

Our First Official Holiday Gift Guide

We may be one of the newest green sites on the Interweb, but we are getting there, thanks to all of you who read us. For you and those surfing by, we present our first annual Holiday Gift Guide. Included are kits, panels, chargers, and stuff that just looks cool. And if you are on a budget, we will help you turn others green for little funding.

Practical Solar Stuff

sfource.jpgSuppose you spend a bit less on toys this year and a bit more on your home, helping to save the planet at the same time. Sunforce's 60-Watt Solar Charging Kit has everything needed (sans battery) to generate power. The kit has four 15W amorphous solar panels with mounting frames, a 200 modified sine wave power inverter, a 7 amp solar charge controller, and a wiring kit with accessories. Sunforce also has a 400W Deluxe Kit that, although is steeper in price, can be used as an off-grid power supply or for backup power.

phonecharger.jpgThe Portable Hybrid Solar Charger can be used with an iPhone, BlackBerry or other smartphones. On cloudy days it can charge via USB. The 2 in 1 Folding Panel comes with a 6 volt, 200 mA folding solar panel, AA and AAA battery charger and multi-plug connectors. It can charge cell phones, portable game systems or PMPs. Don't forget the solar batteries.

Kits for Kids

6kit.jpgThe Thames & Kosmos Physics Solar Workshop was developed with Germany's Greenpeace, includes 320 parts for building different types of vehicles and is recommended for ages 8 - 12. RobotiKits'
6 In 1 Educational Solar Kit
has one solar module and a gear box with snap together pieces for building several different solar models and is recommended for those over 10.

racecar.jpgElenco's OWI Super Solar Racing Car Jr. is part of their science series that also includes a Frightened Grasshopper and the Happy Hopping Frog.

The deluxe Tree of Knowledge Solar Power Science Kit offers about 150 experiments by building a solar generator, motor, water heater and more.

Under $50.00

soladynelantern.jpgThe Wagan Lantern is great for camping, mountaineering or emergencies. Charge in 30 - 35 hours by the sun or 15-20 hours with a 12 volt DC attachment in your cigarette lighter. Its handle, cell and lantern all rotate to get maximum exposure. SolaDyne's Table Top LED Lantern can also be hand cranked and has a foldaway hook for hanging.

solarflag.jpgIf you know someone who put up a flag after 9/11 and never took it down, then he/she would love Annin's Flag Pole Solar Light that is easy to install and comes with batteries. With the Moonrays 2-Sided Address Light, everyone will be able to find your home during the holidays. It comes with a stake or can be wall mounted. Giving up to 10 hours of light, numbers and directional letters are included in the package.

solarfairy.jpgEven if the Fairy is asleep, the solar globe shines with a calming green light for at least 4 hours. Who couldn't love Echo Valley's 10.5" tall Lawn Gnome with rainproof solar panels that, after charging, provides light for 4 to 6 hours.

Do it Best Imports' Tier Light 6 Pack with 2 NiCad rechargeable batteries has a clear globes, white LEDs and black finishes. Each automatically recharges during the day and turns on at dusk.

Under $20.00.

solardummies.jpgKnow someone who wants to go solar but hasn't a clue? Get them "Solar Power Your Home for Dummies" . It has information on choosing and installing a system, various projects, tax rebates and incentives and how to avoid problems while doing any of the above.

solarnet.jpgShow up your neighbors by adorning your house with a string of 50 Christmas White Lights that are 23 ft. in length and turn on automatically. Decorate with a 50 bulb Net that stretches to 45 x 36".

hummingwindchime.jpgInstead of regular wind chimes, surprise someone with Hummingbirds that light up the night. The 22 x 6 x 6" chimes are made of polyresin and include mounting bracket. Tomy's Cardinal Breezy Singer is powered by its hut

Under $10.00

The Poof Slinky Solar Energy Lab features a collector, heater, focusing lens and thermometer and offers over 25 experiments.

Solar Beads change color more than 5,000 times and can be used over and over. They come with project and experiment booklet. The Solar World Electricity Kit comes with cell array, motor, wind propeller, optical illusions and instruction manual is a fine start to anyone who wants to understand how solar power works.

greenflashlight.jpgThe Frost 50 LED Lamp Set can be used indoors or outdoors illuminates up to 8 hours from a full day's charge. Sylvania's LED Flashlight can be clipped on a car's visor or belt for those unexpected power outages as can the 'Green' Flashlight with 5 super-bright LEDs and built-in compass.

Give Yourself

Although solar gifts are great, there are other gifts that we included that are related. These fall under the donation heading, because part of saving the planet is saving those on it.

leperitzebra.jpgThe African Wildlife Foundation is trying to save elephants, mountain gorillas and other endangered species. Twenty five dollars will adopt an animal in need while a donation of $75.00 can save an entire animal family. The same is true of the National Wildlife Federation as they are dedicated to saving endangered species and their habitats. You can even become a certified Wildlife Garden by providing food and water, and places for cover and raising their young in your own back yard. A
$20.00 application fee will get you a personalized certificate that recognizes your NWF Certified Wildlife Habitat as well as other benefits.

Sierra_club_logo.JPGThe Sierra Club has been around since the 60's. During that time it has striven to protect the environment and preserve wilderness through various campaigns. A gift to them would be a gift for your children. The National Parks Conservation Association protects parks and the wildlife that lives in them, as well as promoting new ones.

globalvillage.jpgIf you want to help out your local community, think about donating to a neighborhood animal shelter or go out during the holidays and volunteer at a soup kitchen or shelter. Food is always welcome at co-ops, especially if you grew it yourself and have excess, and Habitat for Humanity can always use your time and would love to welcome you on a Global Village trip, where you can help an entire community. The best gift this season is really yourself.

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November 6, 2009

Site O' the Week: EarthShare


EarthShare was founded in 1988 and its purpose is to provide ways of connecting with environmental nonprofits. It educates, suggests tips for saving energy and provides links with even more information. One gift helps out more than 400 different charities. For that reason we have selected them as our SOW. Sign up with them to get tips, news and contest information.

Via Earth Share

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October 22, 2009

Calgary Adopts Solar Speed Readers


Next time you travel to Calgary, you may run into their new device that posts the speed limit, instead of one that tells you your speed. The solar speed reader flashes the number and will also chastize the driver. Ald. Andre Chabot claims that when using the other kind, "There's been some cases of people actually speeding up to them to see exactly how fast they can get that thing to register." The city has purchased 16 at a cost of about $6,000.00 apiece, sans berating voice.

Via Calgary Herald

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October 15, 2009

Sun Boxes' Music Aligns with Nature

Craig Colorusso built 20 speakers, each with a solar panel and guitar sample. Collectively the Sun Boxes play an entire composition, but when anyone wanders between them, they receive an alternate experience. Because the music samples are of different length and because Mom Nature created clouds, the music changes constantly and stops after sunset.

Via Important Records

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September 29, 2009

Luna Road Glo Solar-Powered Paint


Luna Road is a clever company that provides solar solutions such as easy to install Streetlights and portable Decolights. But what really got our attention was their Glo solar powered paint. Not only can they be used for roads and highways, it can be applied to tunnels, street signs and fire hydrants. The energy it absorbs will last for up to 10 hours with a life span of 2 to 3 years.

Via Luna Road

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September 11, 2009

Solar Site O' the Week: San Jose Tech Museum


Beginning in 2001, the Tech Museum in San Jose has been awarding those who think green. This year Al Gore received an individual Tech Award. Other laureates announced were Dr. Joseph Adelegan and his Cows to Kilowatts program in Nigeria that turns slauterhouse waste into methane, GRUPEDSAC in Mexico that works on alternate energy sources like solar ovens and SuryaHurricane that provides mobile solar lighting and panels on boats in Bangladesh for transient settlers in flood and hurricane prone areas.

We were so pleased that the Museum rewards others for their humanitarian services that we name their online site this week's SOW. Visit it to see the other winners.

Via Tech Awards

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