March 19, 2012

ARPA-E Funds Alternate Energy


Almost everyone is already aware of DARPA and now DOE's ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy) funding continues to encourage new forms of energy to lower our reliance on fossil fuels and lessening the evil climate change. Of course there are plenty of critics that became outspoken after the Solyndra fiasco, but eventually those who doubt the program and think there is no global warming problem should, um, see the light.

Part of the solution is in wind and solar energy. In 2010, New York's CUNY received a $3 million grant to develop a low cost solar battery designed to store power until needed. Michigan State University is working on GENI, a power flow controller that will improve the routing of electricity from solar and wind power. You can be part of the movement if you believe that you have an idea that is viable. Check out the link for more information.


Read More in: Saving the Planet

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March 12, 2012

Curved Sphelar Cells Catch Sun Rays Easily


Most solar cells need to be aimed towards the sun for maximum efficiency but Kyosemi's spherical micro cell arrays can collect energy from every angle. Sphelar cells are only 1 - 2 mm across and can be even be mounted on curved surfaces. Designed for outside use, because of their shape they work earlier in the morning and later in the evening than flat cells.

Via Kyosemi

Read More in: Solar Design | Solar Power System

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March 5, 2012

GE Backs Solar Desert Projects


When we first saw this story we wondered what the fuss was about. It seems that GE invested $100 million in a 127 megawatt solar farm near Arlington, AZ, whose population is a mere 194. Another one built was serviceable to Desert Center, CA a town of only 204. It seems that the farms are almost as large as the cities that they support.

So what is the big whoop? The two Sonora Desert projects together generate more than half the power produced by a single unit of the nearby Palo Verde nuclear power plant. It should provide hundreds of new construction jobs and displace 515,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas, the equivalent of taking about 98,000 cars off the road.

(Thanks, Amber)

Via GE

Read More in: Solar Power System

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February 27, 2012

Apple Data Center LEED Platinum Certified


Apple's iCloud and Siri data center in Maiden, North Carolina has become LEED Platinum certified. The company included a huge solar array on a white cool-roof, LED lighting with motion sensors, chilled water storage system, "free" outside cooling and real-time power monitoring. About 14% of the edifice was made of recycled materials and 41% of the those purchased were done so locally.

Via Apple

Read More in: Solar Buildings

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February 20, 2012

Bauhaus Barge - Solar Living on the Water


For water lovers and those with small budgets, living on a boat can be a fine option. This Dutch Bauhaus is located in London and runs solely on solar power. The barge is 15.4 meters in length, 3.66 x 14m inside and has a lounge/kitchen area, 2 cabins and bathroom. It features a 1.7kw PV system and electric motor that, when at rest, can be used for powering up appliances and other gadgets. Best of all, no nasty gas smell or messy repairs to keep the vessel going. We want one!

Via Bauhaus Barge

Read More in: Solar Homes | Solar Vehicles

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February 13, 2012

d.Light Lantern Built for Disasters


d.Light's S10 Lantern is a convenient replacement for one with batteries or other power source. With a high-efficiency integrated polycrystalline solar panel, it is 3 -5 times brighter than a kerosene lantern and is built to tolerate water, heat, dust and accidental dropping. It has 2 brightness settings, an LED charge indicator and can offer up to 8 hours of light.

Via d.Light

Read More in: Solar Lights

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February 6, 2012

Mr. Light Creeps Along


It's Mr. Light Kit, a robotic worm that runs on solar power. The kit is all inclusive with a cell, pre-punched wooden boards, gears, motor, shafts and hardware. Made for those aged 10 and above, after assembly the creature will crawl along, freaking out your pets and amusing your loved ones. In a pinch, he will also work by AA battery (not included.)

Via Mr. Light Kit

Read More in: DIY Solar | Solar Toys

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January 30, 2012

Turanor Global Tour Nears Completion


The planet's largest solar-powered boat has almost completed its trek around the earth. The Turanor has 700 panels and began its journey in 2010. It has not used the back-up diesel generators that were required for insurance reasons. Swiss company Planet Solar built the vessel for use as a marketing tool to encourage solar power. The Turanor will dock in Monaco this April.

Via Planet Solar

Read More in: Solar Vehicles

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January 23, 2012

Solar Flashlight Holds 3 Year Charge


You would think that a Solar Flashlight would almost be an oxymoron, but this SolarLite holds a single charge for over 3 years. The 1W 2X LED has 11 years of burn time and 16 hours of light. Because this 2-pack comes fully charged, they can be kept in a drawer or glove compartment. The company promises that extreme temperatures will not affect operation and each 14 x 7 x 2" flashlight is both waterproof and floats.

Via Solar Flashlights

Read More in: Solar Lights

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January 16, 2012

SolarKindle Wins CES 2012 Award


One of the standouts of the last week's CES 2012 was the SolarKindle, winner of the Innovation Award. SolarFocus' flexible leather e-book cover has a solar panel built into the cover and a built-in LED reading lamp that is good for up to 50 hours after a full charge. It also features a dual-charging USB/solar battery that, under normal sunlight, will produce about 3 months of Kindle 4 usage when unplugged. When on the go, one hour of sun produces 3 days of reading.

Via SolarKindle

Read More in: Solar Gadgets | Solar Lights

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