January 24, 2011
Solar3D is simply what its title implies. Because up to 30% of incident sunlight can bounce off regular solar cells, this technology traps the sun in micro-photovoltaic structures that collect photons that are converted into electrons. The system uses light management techniques currently utilized in fiber optics. Not only can this be used in have many different applications, the company claims that it will make solar power more efficient and affordable.
(Thanks, Monica and Jennifer)
Read More in: Solar Power System | Solar Science
January 17, 2011
Students at the University of New South Wales built a solar-powered car that broke the current speed record. The Sunswift IV (aka IVy) hit 56.85 mph, beating the previous record of 40.09 mph set in 1987. What made this a great day for the team was not only the fact that they performed on a mostly cloudy day, the miniscule Ivy ran solely on sun power, no batteries allowed.
Read More in: Solar Vehicles
January 10, 2011
New Energy Technologies has announced a new type of technology that could be more efficient and lower priced than most solar power tech used today. Solar Window is a liquid, see thru compound that can be applied without a high-vacuum. Developed by a USF physics team, the resulting coating is less than 1/10th thick and uses what they claim are the "world's smallest functional solar cells." Between the lower cost and easier application, we think that NET may soon help make solar energy fit into more energy budgets.
Read More in: Solar News | Solar Science
January 3, 2011
We first saw the efficient Earthship on 'Nightline'. We were quite impressed with architect Michael Reynolds' vision and ability to make passive housing out of old tires, trashed appliances and plastic bottles. Although it takes an up front investment to make one for yourself, the result is a home that only costs $100.00 a year to run, and that's just for the propane for the stove.
The whole idea, says Reynolds, is to create a machine. Steel, cement, solar panels, recycled materials and a lot of sweat and tears makes one of these Earthships. But what really got to us is what he accomplished in 4 days in Haiti, where it seems that the people have been forgotten and many funds have gotten lost in a bureaucratic nightmare.
After collecting $7,000 and adding $3,000 of his own, he and his team built a small shelter there with Haitians doing most of the work. He plans to go back and build more Earthships this year, so if you have felt the need to do something for Haiti, volunteer, donate and pass the word.
Read More in: Solar Homes
December 27, 2010
A solar powered catamaran is endeavoring to circle the globe without the assistance of other fuel. Meant as a way to draw attention to the industry (and no doubt a kewl way to visit the planet,) the TÛRANOR PlanetSolar left Monaco in September, and is now in Switzerland. So far it has traveled about 7,000 nautical miles, about a quarter of the full journey. The 5,700 sq. ft. cat cost a whopping $17.5 million to build and you can follow its progress via the link or invest by picking up a t-shirt in its e-shop.
Owner Immo Ströher made this claim about the project, "It is my vision to see solar power take its rightful place - not only on rooftops, but also on the roads, seas and in the skies of the future." How noble!
Read More in: Solar Vehicles
December 20, 2010
Skyline Solar is installing solar arrays for the Department of Defense on two bases in the US. The testing is meant for seeing if the military can use the technology in other countries to cut back on fuel for generators and vehicles. The arrays will produce about 436 mega hours of energy yearly. Since your average home consumes about 11 mh yearly, this is quite an ambitious experiment. We don't care who is testing, we are just happy that another organization has jumped on the solar bandwagon.
Read More in: Solar Power System
December 13, 2010
Want to go green this holiday season? Russ Wright discovered the Solar Light Cap from New Zealand about a year ago and bought one for himself. He was so impressed that he began to give it to friends and family and they dug it, too. He and wife Shannon formed Current Wear so that everyone can have one here in the States.
Russ was kind enough to send us 3 samples to review and we are now fans as well. The cap has two ultra-bright LED lights that are turned on with a simple button. Weatherproof and washable up to the brim, the SLC has four lighting modes, will run for 3 to 4 hours on normal setting and up to 35 hours on dim.
Our review had a bud of ours testing the cap while we shot some video and he liked it enough to ask to keep it. Merry Xmas, Mike. We also introduced it to Grace, a cat that will attack a Furby, but was mostly unimpressed by the cap. Radar, our other cat, was moderately interested for a few seconds.
The video is very brief because to test it you should be in the dark and if you are in the dark there is not all that much to see. Duh. But we did have fun wandering around and trying out all the modes with simple button pushing. Head to the Current Wear site to see some professional video.
The SLC is adjustable and may feel a bit heavy when you first wear it because it does have a small solar panel in its brim. But you get used to it fairly quickly and it is quite comfortable after breaking it in.
Each cap has a life span of 5,000 hours (3 years.) Amazing for a mere $39.99 and although they offer a money back guarantee, you will not want one. This is a must have for campers, late night joggers, nighttime sporting events and parties, car breakdowns or those who are beset by a power outage.
By the way, Current Wear was an official sponsor for SolarDay 2010 last June, a national celebration to bring awareness to the benefits of solar power. Contact Russ and Shannon to get one or several Solar Light Caps for gifts this holiday season or to become a distributor.
Via Current Wear
Read More in: Review | Solar Wearables
December 6, 2010
Kyocera has begun production on Solar Cycle Stations, eco-friendly charging stations that will charge 6 bicycles simultaneously. At a humongous cost of $23,000 apiece, each has 3 solar panels, a maximum output of 79.8V and up to 1.14kWh per day.
Via Akihabara News
Read More in: Solar Chargers | Solar Vehicles
November 29, 2010
Grundig's Eton Solar Radio is so impressive that it made it into this year's Neiman Marcus Christmas Book. At a portable size of 5.25 x 2.5 x 1.75", the water-resistant device has NOAA weather, AM/FM, built-in LED flashlight, USB charger, carabiner clip and a bottle opener. At a price of $50.00, the radio can also be hand-cranked in gloomy weather or at night. A similar model is available for the common masses for $20.00 less.
Via Neiman Marcus
Read More in: Solar Gadgets
November 22, 2010
Having a rainbow in your room is so passé. This year, get a Kikkerland solar-powered Double Rainbow Maker to cheer up anyone's bah, humbug approach to the holidays. Swarovski crystals create the effect while the panel allows the device to revolve and refract light in multiple directions.
Read More in: Solar Gadgets
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