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.
This Solar Fan can be set down or window-mounted for usage in a room, cabin, RV or other small area that tends to overheat. The 5.5 x 5.5" black device promises slow circulation and easy set up. Adjustable to face the sun, the panel can be removed on cloudy days. Although it cannot store power to be used at night, the fan works best in desert areas, while camping or in small spaces.
The Scrap Exchange, a nonprofit creative reuse center, was established in 1991 in Durham North Carolina. It has changed locations a couple of times but its message is still the same, that the world would be a better place if we could reuse and recycle items that normally end up in landfills. They estimate that they save about 40 tons of materials per year.
They also have workshops, clothing exchanges, go on the road to schools in NC and other states and have a gallery that features local artists. We like this idea so much that we think every neighborhood should have one! Contact the Scrap Exchange if you want to get involved.
XTG's Premium Solar Charger can not only be used for most small electronic devices, it includes a built-in LED flexible reading light. With an output of 600mAH, the super thin charger has both a status and remaining power indicator, can be charged by the sun or USB and comes with a mini-charge cable and window/windshield suction cups.
Ever been on a beach filled with litter or find an undiscovered oil spill? A new app allows you to map and report any marine pollution. The free Marine Defenders App was made from a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. It will not only make the little guy a whistle blower, but will draw attention to how widespread the problem is. Originally intended for New Jersey, the now national app is available for iPhone/iPad/touch users with a planned Android application to come.
We love our Swiss Army knife and are pleased that Wenger continues to expand its line of products. They have now ventured into the solar charging field. The Standard Charger has 2.25W of power, a 5v Micro USB output, an included mAh battery and a five-tip adapter that can charge almost anything with a USB connection. A 4 hour charge can give a smartphone enough power for 6 hours. The foldable, water-resistant panel comes in both a 20.3I x 6.7 x .2" and a 17.7 x 11.6 x .2" model with an optional LED light available.
Danish artist Olafur Eliasson teamed with engineer/buddy Frederick Ottesen
and designed the Little Sun, a portable solar lamp that can last up to 3 years. When put in charging mode in the sun for five hours, it emits light for 5 hours nightly. This is such a deal if you consider that the solar lamp can save up to 90% on what they would spend on kerosene. Plans are already in the works to distribute in Ethiopia, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Nigeria. Contact Olafur if you want more info on the Little Sun as they plan to produce 500,000 units during 2012, more than enough to equip a few large villages.